Biography: Cormac McCarthy
Charles Joseph McCarthy was born in Providence, Rhode Island on July 20, 1933. He later changed his name to Cormac, or “son of Charles,” to honor his father. He grew up in a Catholic church and attended a Catholic high school. After completing only one year at The University of Tennessee in 1951, McCarthy enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served four years. In 1957, he returned to The University of Tennessee, where he started becoming interested in fictional writing. McCarthy won Ingram-Merrill Foundation grants for creative writing in 1959 and 1960, after publishing two stories in the campus literary magazine The Phoenix. He left the university in 1960 to pursue his writing career.
Throughout his life, McCarthy won several grants and awards, all while being divorced twice. These events might be the reason McCarthy had very dark themes. In a rare interview with the New York Times, he rejects the idea that humans can live harmoniously. One of his novels, Blood Meridian, captures the cynicism of McCarthy’s work. This novel reveals the darker shades of human character, suffering and violence. His better-know novel, All the Pretty Horses, the first novel of his Border Trilogy, features characters who are caught in the storm of inescapable evil. This book is built upon the relatively same theme as Blood Meridian; which follows a young man’s journey to the regions of the unknown. All the Pretty Horses would be McCarthy’s first real breakthrough, selling nearly 200,000 copies in the first hardcover printing.
With later novels, No Country for Old Men and The Road, McCarthy became more successful, with film versions of his novels released all over the world.
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