Cormac McCarthy, Pulitzer Prize winner for The Road, has died


Cormac McCarthy, the writer best known for his Southern Gothic stories, died Tuesday at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the age of 89.

His publisher, Knopf, confirmed his death to Publishers Weekly.

McCarthy was one of the most celebrated novelists of his generation and was considered by literary critic Harold Bloom to be as influential as Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon and Philip Roth.

Born in Rhode Island in 1933, McCarthy spent most of his young life in Knoxville, Tennessee, where his father, Charles Joseph McCarthy, practiced law. He attended the University of Tennessee repeatedly before finally dropping out in 1959. He had a brief marriage to Lee Holleman, who divorced him after the couple had one child, Cullen.

The author’s debut novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published in 1965. The book contained several tropes that recurred in many of the author’s works: father-son relationships; dark, southern environment; and biblical allusions.

On a trip abroad, McCarthy met his second wife, Anne Delisle, and wrote his second book, Outer Dark. He and Delisle lived together in Tennessee before separating in 1976 when McCarthy moved to El Paso, Texas. While there, he received a MacArthur Fellowship (aka the Genius Grant) and wrote several of his best-known novels, including Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses, which won National Book Awards.

After moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico with his third wife, Jennifer Winkley, and their son, John, McCarthy was inspired to write The Road during a visit to El Paso in 2003 later explained in an interview with Oprah that the novel was inspired by his relationship with his son. Winkley and McCarthy later divorced.

The Road later won the Pulitzer Prize and was made into a film. McCarthy’s novel No Country for Old Men was also made into a film by the Coen brothers. whose work the author has expressly praised.

After a 16-year hiatus, McCarthy published two intertwined novels in late 2022: The Passenger (October) and Stella Maris (December).

McCarthy was very private and little else was known about his personal life. Continued at the bottom of his biography page The Cormac McCarthy Society websitethe fan club wrote: “Aside from a few minor things (his favorite novel is Melville’s Moby-Dick; he’s not interested in the work of Henry James, he doesn’t like to talk about the writing, etc.), that’s pretty much what we do.” know about Cormac McCarthy.”

Indeed, apart from the impressive body of work he left behind.

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