Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country for Old Men, The Road, and eight other novels, received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for lifetime achievement in American fiction. The prize is worth $25,000.
McCarthy, who shuns publicity and avoids author tours and interviews to focus on his writing, has been called "the best unknown novelist in America." However, the popularity of the Coen brothers' movie adaptation of No Country for Old Men and the success of his dystopian novel The Road has turned a spotlight on this public-shy author.
While McCarthy's books have garnered praise and awards—including a Pulitzer for The Road—he is not without his critics. Some have complained about his lack of punctuation, a writing style that he defends as not blocking up the page with "weird little marks." He truly believes that "if you write properly, you shouldn't have to punctuate."
His answer to the questions about the gore and violence that permeate his books? "There's no such thing as life without bloodshed."
Biography Resource Center
The Road—theater release date October 2009