Cormac McCarthy – Author Focus

Author Cormac McCarthy has a special place in our hearts here at Writer’s Edit.

The Pulitzer Prize-Winning novel 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy.
The Pulitzer Prize-Winning novel ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy.

McCarthy is currently best known for his post-apocalyptic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road (which was also adapted for the big screen, starring Viggo Mortensen). The harrowing story follows a father and his young son (both unnamed) as they journey across a burnt America after an unspecified apocalypse. The novel is written in McCarthy’s signature style of stark and poignant prose that reads almost like poetry.

On this road there are no godspoke men. They are gone and I am left and they have taken with them the world.”

The author has shot to god-like literary status for his other works too, with our favourite being The Border TrilogyThe Border Trilogy is made up of the following ‘Western’ novels: All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing and Cities of the Plain. Throughout the novels, McCarthy follows two young men by the names of John Grady-Cole and Billy Parham. Their stories are intertwined and ripe with danger. The larger work arguably focuses on ideas of masculinity and what it means to be a man, all captured with poetic imagery and striking prose.

Long before morning I knew that what I was seeking to discover was a thing I’d always known. That all courage was a form of constancy. That it is always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals come easily.”

Cormac McCarthy: Background

Born in Rhode Island, 1933 as Charles McCarthy, the author later changed his name to ‘Cormac’. Raised as a Roman Catholic, McCarthy joined the Air Force in ’53, serving four years all up, with two of them being in Alaska.

Majoring in Liberal Arts, McCarthy got involved in the student mag, The Phoenix and published two short stories with this title: ‘Wake for Susan’ and ‘A Drowning Incident’. He went on to win the creative writing award the ‘Ingram-Merrill’ in both 1959 and 1960.


The Novels:

  • The Orchard Keeper
  • Outer Dark
  • Child of God
  • Suttree
  • Blood Meridian
  • All the Pretty Horses
  • The Crossing
  • Cities of the Plain
  • No Country for Old Men
  • The Road


The Screenplays:

  • The Gardener’s Son
  • The Counselor

The Short Stories:

  • ‘A Drowning Incident’
  • ‘Wake for Susan’

The Plays:

  • The Stonemason
  • The Sunset Limited

The Rest?

Although Cormac McCarthy has received undeniable praise throughout the entirety of his career, he remains rather quiet for such a celebrated author. The public haven’t heard much from this modern day literary great, with the exception of a somewhat awkward interview with no other than Oprah, a few years ago now.

His work focuses on the masculine and the often raw and heartbreaking nature of humanity. There is no doubt that Cormac McCarthy has cemented his place among the literary greats, we can’t wait to see what he does next.

Writer's Edit

Writer’s Edit is a young online literary magazine created especially for writers and lovers of books. Founded in July 2013, the magazine is home to writing and book-related news, as well as advice and inspiration for emerging authors. Writer's Edit also publishes the anthology Kindling. To find out more, click here.

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