Cormac McCarthy - Details


Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island in 1933 and spent most of his childhood near Knoxville, Tennessee. He served in the U.S. Air Force and later studied at the University of Tennessee. McCarthy's fiction parallels his own personal journey from the Southeast to the West - his first four novels being set in Tennessee and the most recent in the Southwest and Mexico. He first came to international attention with his 1965 work The Orchard Keeper, which won the Faulkner Award for a first novel. This was followed by Outer Dark, Child of God and Suttree, all Gothic, lush, violent stories of the South.

In 1981, McCarthy received a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called "Genius Grant," and used the money to live while writing Blood Meridian, an apocalyptic Western set on the border of Texas and Mexico just after the Civil War. McCarthy even learned Spanish in order to add authenticity to the book.

In 1992, Cormac McCarthy published All The Pretty Horses, the first volume of his Border Trilogy. It became an overnight publishing sensation, garnering critical praise and a vast readership. It became a New York Times bestseller and sold 190,000 copies in hardcover during its first six months of publication. Eventually, the book was honored with America's highest literary prize, The National Book Award. McCarthy followed All The Pretty Horses with two related novels that complete the Border Trilogy: The Crossing, another acclaimed tale of a Texas youth facing tragedy in Mexico, and the recent Cities of the Plain, which brings together the youthful lead characters of All The Pretty Horses and The Crossing later in life.

McCarthy has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award, among other honors and grants.