Author: Carson McCullers
Age: 23

Carson McCullers is another example of an author whose early literary fame was only equalled by the difficult life she would have to lead afterwards. She published The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter while living with her husband, aspiring writer Reeves McCullers. They soon divorced, only to remarry in 1945. Their marriage ended permanently when Reeves killed himself in what he believed would be a joint suicide by overdosing on pills in a hotel room.

As if her love life weren't hard enough, she suffered from a series of ailments throughout her life, including strokes that left an entire side of her body paralyzed by the time she was 31.