Cormac McCarthy is a highly acclaimed American novelist, screenwriter, and playwright who was born on July 20, 1933, in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. He is considered to be one of the greatest living American writers, known for his vivid and poetic writing style, complex characters, and often bleak themes.
McCarthy grew up in Tennessee and later attended the University of Tennessee, where he studied liberal arts. After college, he served in the United States Air Force for four years before moving to Chicago to work as a mechanic and auto parts salesman. During this time, he began to write short stories and eventually decided to pursue writing full-time.
McCarthy’s literary career began in 1965 with the publication of his first novel, The Orchard Keeper, which received critical acclaim and won the William Faulkner Foundation Award. He continued to publish novels throughout the 1970s, including Outer Dark, Child of God, and Suttree. However, it was his 1985 novel, Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West, that cemented his reputation as a major literary figure. The book tells the story of a teenage runaway who joins a group of scalp hunters in the American Southwest in the 1850s and explores themes of violence, masculinity, and the nature of evil.
McCarthy’s next novel, All the Pretty Horses, was published in 1992 and was the first in a trilogy of novels that also included The Crossing and Cities of the Plain. The trilogy follows the adventures of two young men as they travel through Mexico and the American West in the mid-twentieth century.
In 2005, McCarthy published his most widely recognized novel, The Road, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The novel tells the story of a father and son’s journey through a post-apocalyptic world and explores themes of survival, morality, and the human condition. The Road was later adapted into a highly acclaimed film starring Viggo Mortensen.
In addition to his novels, McCarthy has also written several plays, including The Sunset Limited, which was later adapted into a film, and The Stonemason. He has also written screenplays, including the screenplay for the film adaptation of his novel, No Country for Old Men, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 2008.
Throughout his career, McCarthy has received numerous awards and honors for his writing, including the MacArthur Fellowship, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest living American writers and his works continue to be studied and admired by readers and scholars around the world.
Major awards won by Cormac McCarthy:
- National Book Award for Fiction (1992) – “All the Pretty Horses”
- National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (1992) – “All the Pretty Horses”
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction (1993) – “All the Pretty Horses”
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2007) – “The Road”
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction (2006) – “The Road”
- Believer Book Award (2006) – “The Road”
- PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction (2001)
- MacArthur Fellowship (1981)
- National Humanities Medal (2010)
- The Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction (2016)
In addition to these awards, McCarthy has also been a finalist for several other prestigious literary prizes, including the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award.