Cormac McCarthy death: Stephen King, other celebrities react

The literary world lost one of its icons on Tuesday when “No Country for Old Men” and “The Road” author Cormac McCarthy died of natural causes at his home in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 89.

McCarthy’s son, John McCarthy, confirmed the death through an announcement from his father’s publisher, Penguin Random House.

“Cormac McCarthy changed the course of literature. For sixty years, he demonstrated an unwavering dedication to his craft, and to exploring the infinite possibilities and power of the written word,” Penguin Random House Chief Executive Nihar Malaviya said in the statement.

“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.”

Social media overflowed with tributes to McCarthy following the news of the Pulitzer Prize winner’s death.

“Cormac McCarthy, maybe the greatest American novelist of my time, has passed away at 89,” tweeted Stephen King. “He was full of years and created a fine body of work, but I still mourn his passing.”

Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell shared his thoughts on McCarthy’s death in a series of tweets highlighting the impact of the “Blood Meridian” novelist’s work on his music.

“How many of us did he influence? Immeasurable,” the “Cover Me Up” musician wrote. “I could go onstage and say ‘this next one was influenced by Cormac McCarthy’ and literally sing any song I’ve ever written.”

“Death was not hilarious today. RIP Cormac McCarthy. A great favorite,” comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted.

“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,” poet and novelist Joseph Fasano shared on Twitter. “It is a loss beyond measure, but what that soul has left us is a gift beyond time. Rest in everything, Cormac McCarthy.”

“From the opening page of The Bridges of Madison County I was hooked. RIP Cormac McCarthy…,” tweeted comedian Rob Delaney.

Born Charles McCarthy Jr. in Providence, R.I., on July 20, 1933, McCarthy was the third of six children in an Irish Catholic family. The family moved frequently before settling in Knoxville, Tenn., where his father worked as an attorney for the powerful Tennessee Valley Authority.

Often set in the backwoods of Tennessee or the great wide open of the Old West, McCarthy’s novels took violence to a nearly hallucinogenic level as he spooled out stories of murderous bounty hunters, drug deals gone fatally wrong and life in a post-apocalyptic netherworld.

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