Richard Wright had reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter in New Republic before he ever met Carson McCullers. In it he applauded her "astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern Fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice as those of her own race."
Once he met her, it was not only her writing that attracted Wright to McCullers, but in his opinion also her "tortured soul, her zest for the ordinary moments of life." Frequently moody, Wright found his spirits lifted when McCullers greeted him. Wright felt a sense of brotherhood with the other writers in the February House while he lived there, and felt that McCullers was a positive force in the house during her first stay. The two reconnected in Paris in the fall of 1946 when they were both integral parts of the Paris and American literati, which at that time included Alice B. Toklas, James Baldwin, William Burroughs, Sherwood Anderson, Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Cocteau and Samuel Beckett.