Cormac McCarthy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning genius behind such indelible American novels as Suttree, Blood Meridian, and The Road, along with his most accessible work, The Border Trilogy, has died in Santa Fe at age 89.
Too often touted as a successor to the gothic modernism of William Faulkner, McCarthy plotted his own unique linguistic routes through the American south, from the littoral miasmas of the Tennessee River to the high shimmering dread of the western salt plains. His fictions seethed with ornate brutality, shifting in register from the biblical to the profane and back again as he superimposed American mythologies over the lowliest of American characters.
McCarthy, who was born in Rhode Island but raised in Knoxville, TN, published his last two novels, Stella Maris and The Passenger, just last year. Often labeled something of a recluse for his reluctance to do any kind of publicity, McCarthy was a presence in and around Santa Fe, choosing to use his time writing rather than talking about writing.
And we are all better for it.