The Pulitzer Prize For Fiction

2007 - Cormac McCarthy

Born as Charles McCarthy: 20 July 1933, Providence, Rhode Island. USA

Awarded for: "The Road"

Prize motivation: "Acclaimed as one of America's most powerful writers, Cormac McCarthy has crafted some of the finest novels of our time, including All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, and The Road."

Field: Fiction

 


Books Written By Cormac McCarthy


About Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy (born Charles McCarthy; (July 20, 1933) is an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He has written ten novels, spanning the Southern Gothic, Western, and post-apocalyptic genres. He won the Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction for The Road (2006). His 2005 novel No Country for Old Men was adapted as a 2007 film of the same name, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. For All the Pretty Horses (1992), he won both the U.S. National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. All the Pretty Horses, The Road, and Child of God have also been adapted as motion pictures.

McCarthy's first novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published by Random House in 1965. He decided to send the manuscript to Random House because "it was the only publisher [he] had heard of". At Random House, the manuscript found its way to Albert Erskine, who had been William Faulkner's editor until Faulkner's death in 1962.[9] Erskine continued to edit McCarthy's work for the next twenty years.

In the summer of 1965, using a Traveling Fellowship award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, McCarthy shipped out aboard the liner Sylvania, hoping to visit Ireland. While on the ship, he met Anne DeLisle, who was working on the ship as a singer. In 1966, they were married in England. Also in 1966, McCarthy received a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, which he used to travel around Southern Europe before landing in Ibiza, where he wrote his second novel, Outer Dark. Afterward he returned to America with his wife, and Outer Dark was published in 1968 to generally favorable reviews. In 1969, McCarthy and his wife moved to Louisville, Tennessee, and purchased a barn, which McCarthy renovated, doing the stonework himself. Here he wrote his next book, Child of God, based on actual events. Child of God was published in 1973. Like Outer Dark before it, Child of God was set in southern Appalachia. In 1976, McCarthy separated from Anne DeLisle and moved to El Paso, Texas. In 1979, his novel Suttree, which he had been writing on and off for twenty years, was finally published.

Supporting himself with the money from his 1981 MacArthur Fellowship, he wrote his next novel, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West, which was published in 1985. The book has grown appreciably in stature in literary circles. In a 2006 poll of authors and publishers conducted by The New York Times Magazine to list the greatest American novels of the previous quarter-century, Blood Meridian placed third, behind only Toni Morrison's Beloved and Don DeLillo's Underworld.

McCarthy finally received widespread recognition in 1992 with the publication of All the Pretty Horses, which won the National Book Award[3] and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was followed by The Crossing and Cities of the Plain, completing the Border Trilogy. In the midst of this trilogy came The Stonemason, McCarthy's second dramatic work. He had previously written a film for PBS in the 1970s, The Gardener's Son. McCarthy's next book, 2005's No Country for Old Men, stayed with the western setting and themes, yet moved to a more contemporary period. It was adapted into a film of the same name by the Coen brothers, winning four Academy Awards and more than 75 film awards globally. McCarthy's book The Road (2006) won international acclaim and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. A film adaptation (2009) was directed by John Hillcoat, written by Joe Penhall, and starred Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Also in 2006, McCarthy published the play The Sunset Limited. The play was adapted for film by the playwright for a version directed and executive produced by Tommy Lee Jones; it began airing on HBO in February 2011. Jones also stars, opposite Samuel L. Jackson.

In 2012, he sold his original screenplay, The Counselor, to Nick Wechsler, Paula Mae Schwartz, and Steve Schwartz, who had previously produced the film adaptation of McCarthy's novel The Road. Ridley Scott directed, and the cast included Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Cameron Diaz. Production finished in 2012, and it was released on October 25, 2013, to polarized critical reception.


Reviews

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

By R.B Moore

Don't start with any illusions of this book - it isn't a story. There isn't a beginning and a middle and a neat end. The plot does not develop in any significant way. What you get is a ride of pure emotion, that is of an intensity that I've not really seen matched anywhere else. This isn't a tale about the end of the world. This is what it looks like at the end of the world, what it sounds and smells like, and more importantly what it feels like when you are man and boy facing death and the extinction of the species.

Cormac uses words sparingly, and doesn't bother with a lot of punctuation or structure. It's almost modern narrative poetry, as per Bukowski et al. This makes it a more challenging read, but he drags you in, relentlessly. It is very bleak, it is very difficult, but he makes it work. I'm not going to give examples because it's worth finding out for yourself.

I read this almost entirely at night, in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in Devon, with everyone else asleep. And every night I went to bed drained by the experience of another chapter or so. If a book can move you to this degree, then what else can it be than a five stars?

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

By Pauline Clare

This is one of the best books I have every read. I will read it again and again.