Cormac McCarthy, Author of The Road And No Country For Old Men, Has Passed Away

Cormac McCarthy has passed away at the age of 89.

By Jessica Goudreault | Updated

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy, who is best known for the film adaptations of his books The Road, No Country for Old Men, Child of God, and All the Pretty Horses, passed away today in Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to Variety. The reclusive writer died of natural causes at the age of 89 after having written twelve novels, two plays, five screenplays, and three short stories in his lifetime.

Although Cormac McCarthy began writing at a young age, he didn’t have much success until 1992 when he was 59 years old. That year, his book All the Pretty Horses received the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2007, he received even greater recognition when his novel The Road won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction.

Both of Cormac McCarthy’s award-winning novels All the Pretty Horses and The Road were adapted into films, though they received very different reviews. Despite being directed by Billy Bob Thornton and starring Matt Damon and Penélope Cruz, All the Pretty Horses got negative reviews from critics and grossed less than half of the budget spent on production. Meanwhile, 2009’s The Road starred Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Charlize Theron and was nominated for the Best Cinematography Award from BAFTA and the San Diego Film Critics Society.

One of the most successful film adaptations of Cormac McCarthy’s novels was No Country for Old Men, a film that was directed by the Coen brothers and very closely follows the novel with the same name. The crime thriller focuses on Josh Brolin as he gets chased down by Javier Bardem who plays a hitman, and by Tommy Lee Jones, who plays a sheriff with a dark secret. It is highly regarded as the Coen brothers’ best film, and Joel Coen has stated that the novel was “much pulpier” than Cormac McCarthy’s other books.

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Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men (2007)

Fans of Cormac McCarthy’s work have been waiting ages for his masterpiece novel Blood Meridian to be adapted onto the big screen. The novel was published back in 1985, and it takes place on the American frontier as a Tennessee teenager must navigate a roving gang of scalp hunters. Earlier this year, John Hillcoat (who directed 2007’s The Road) announced that he would direct the film adaptation and that the executive producer will be Cormac’s son, John McCarthy.

Fellow author Stephen King took to Twitter earlier today to share his mourning for Cormac McCarthy, saying that he may be “the greatest American novelist of my time.” Many others are also taking to social media to share their condolences and honor the astonishing writer by sharing their favorite quotes and their personal collections of his books.

Cormac McCarthy will be well remembered for his contributions to American literature and for his unique style of writing. He was well known for rarely using commas, instead choosing to use the word “and” to help break up his sentences. He also never used quotation marks in dialogue, and he told Oprah Winfrey that the use of semicolons was “idiocy.”