McCarthy, Cormac

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

McCarthy, Cormac

Cormac McCarthy, 1933–, American novelist, b. Providence, R.I. He grew up in Knoxville, Tenn., moved to the Southwest in 1974, and now lives mainly in El Paso, Tex. In finely wrought, acutely observant prose, McCarthy typically portrays a sleazy American South and Southwest filled with appalling poverty, violence, and cruelty. His novels include The Orchard Keeper (1965), his first; Suttree (1979); Blood Meridian (1985); All the Pretty Horses (1992; National Book Award), his best-known work and the first book in his "Border Trilogy" ; the next two books in the triad, The Crossing (1994) and Cities of the Plain (1998); No Country for Old Men (2005); and The Road (2006; Pulitzer Prize). Reclusive and something of a cult figure, McCarthy is determinedly nonliterary. Although he won a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" in 1981, he was known only to a small coterie of devoted readers until the 1990s.

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