In a deeply sad turn of events, the literary world is mourning the loss of Cormac McCarthy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose profound and haunting works captivated readers across generations.
McCarthy, known for his uncompromising exploration of human nature and the human condition, passed away at the age of 89 on Tuesday, June 13.
“Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.”
—Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy died today of natural causes at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was eighty-nine years old. pic.twitter.com/5Xl9MH5Nx2
— Alfred A. Knopf (@AAKnopf) June 13, 2023
Penguin Random House, McCarthy’s publisher, had issued a statement confirming the passing of the esteemed author, noting that he died of natural causes.
“Cormac McCarthy changed the course of literature,” Penguin Random House CEO, Nihar Malaviya, said in a statement.
“For sixty years, he demonstrated an unwavering dedication to his craft, and to exploring the infinite possibilities and power of the written word.
“Millions of readers around the world embraced his characters, his mythic themes, and the intimate emotional truths he laid bare on every page, in brilliant novels that will remain both timely and timeless, for generations to come.”
The legendary author has no doubt left an unforgettable mark on American literature with his powerful storytelling.
Through his narratives, which were set against the backdrop of the vibrant American West and fearlessly explored the depths of human darkness, McCarthy was able to capture both the brutal and complex aspects of life, cementing his status as an iconic figure in the literary world.
McCarthy first gained popularity in 1992 with his book All the Pretty Horses. This book not only became a best-seller but also earned McCarthy the prestigious National Book Award.
In 2000, All the Pretty Horses was brought to the silver screen with a film adaptation directed by Billy Bob Thornton. The movie featured an impressive cast including Matt Damon and Penelope Cruz.
His 2005 book No Country for Old Men was also adapted for the screen. It became a widely successful thriller featuring an exceptional cast starring Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones and went on to win four Oscars.
However, McCarthy is arguably most known for his 2006 novel, The Road, which captured both critical acclaim and the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the following year.
After a 16-year hiatus, McCarthy returned to the literary scene in late 2022 and surprised readers with two novels, The Passenger and Stella Maris, interconnected narratives that focused on themes such as morality, science, and faith.
As news of his passing broke, fans and authors alike reflected on the immense legacy McCarthy leaves behind, forever imprinted in the pages of his unforgettable works.
Cormac McCarthy, maybe the greatest American novelist of my time, has passed away at 89. He was full of years and created a fine body of work, but I still mourn his passing.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) June 13, 2023
Cormac McCarthy was probably the greatest living American novelist. I loved discovering his work and have often wished I had found it sooner.
He has too many great passages to pick a favorite.
But, we’ll keep carrying the fire. pic.twitter.com/Xh7Ml1lM6P
— Lana Del Gay (@McClellandShane) June 13, 2023
When a great artist dies, there is the moment when the world understands it will never again have a new creation from that mind, that heart, that vast soul. It is a loss beyond measure, but what that soul has left us is a gift beyond time.
Rest in everything, Cormac McCarthy pic.twitter.com/kM3mVIIw1Z
— Joseph Fasano (@Joseph_Fasano_) June 13, 2023
McCarthy is survived by his two sons, Cullen and John McCarthy.