Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist, playwright, short-story writer, and screenwriter. He has written ten novels, two plays, two screenplays, and three short-stories, spanning the Southern Gothic, Western, and post-apocalyptic genres. He is well known for his graphic depictions of violence and his unique writing style, recognizable by its lack of punctuation and attribution. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest contemporary writers.
McCarthy was born in Providence, Rhode Island, although he was raised primarily in Tennessee. In 1951, he enrolled in the University of Tennessee, but dropped out to join the Air Force. His debut novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published in 1965. Awarded literary grants, McCarthy was able to travel to southern Europe, where he wrote his second novel, Outer Dark (1968). Suttree (1979), like his other early novels, received generally positive reviews, but was not a commercial success. A MacArthur genius grant enabled him to travel to the American Southwest, where he researched and wrote his fifth novel, Blood Meridian (1985). Although it garnered lukewarm critical and commercial reception, it is now regarded as his magnum opus, with some even labeling it the Great American Novel.