The Member of the Wedding is a 1946 novel by Southern writer Carson McCullers. It took McCullers five years to complete, although she interrupted the work for a few months to write the novella The Ballad of the Sad Café.
In a letter to her husband Reeves McCullers, she explained that the novel was "one of those works that the least slip can ruin. It must be beautifully done. For like a poem there is not much excuse for it otherwise."
She originally planned to write a story about a girl who is in love with her piano teacher, but she had what she called "a divine spark: "Suddenly I said: Frankie is in love with her brother and the bride.... The illumination focused the whole book."