Legendary American author, Cormac McCarthy, is set to make a stunning return to the center of the literary world with two new books slated for release this year.
It’s been sixteen years since Cormac McCarthy’s last novel stole, broke, then repaired our hearts, with the Pulitzer Prize winner, I can’t look away, The road.
In a surprising and very welcome development, it has been announced that not one, but two novels by Cormac McCarthy – The passenger and Stella Maris— should be released this year.
The intertwined novels follow two siblings Bobby and Alicia Western, who are tormented by the legacy of their father (a physicist who helped develop the atomic bomb) as much as they are by their doomed love for each other. ‘other.
The passenger, which comes out October 25, is set in 1980 New Orleans. With all the hallmarks of a well-paced thriller, the plot kicks into gear when Bobby, a salvage diver, is tasked with exploring the wreckage of a sunken jet off the Mississippi and discovers that the black box of the plane, the flight bag pilot and one of the passengers are missing.
A departure from his usual preoccupation with good versus evil, violence and revenge (illustrated in works like blood meridian and There is no country for old people), McCarthy turned his gaze to the more intellectual and analytical side of humanity. The passenger and Stella Maris tackle the themes of mathematics and physics, the nature of reality and the relationship between genius and madness, while asking the age-old question: can religion and science co-exist?
Potentially one of literature’s best-kept secrets, McCarthy delivered a full draft to his editors eight years ago. Highly anticipated, to say the least! I feel sorry for his editors (not really).
“It explores elements of philosophy and some of life’s bigger questions more directly on the page,” said Reagan Arthur, Knopf’s editor.
Stella Maris is Alicia’s story and is slated for release on November 22. The passenger the story unfolds via a transcript between Alicia and her doctor in Wisconsin in 1972. Twenty-year-old Alicia is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her intellect both frightens and intrigues people – not least because she’s a math prodigy – but also because her hallucinations come across as characters, with their own distinct voices.
This is the first time McCarthy has focused on a female protagonist. “I intended to write about a woman for 50 years”, McCarthy told the Wall Street Journal in a 2009 interview. “I will never be competent enough to do it, but at some point you have to try.”
At the end of the two novels, Knopf considered publishing them a year apart, but given the interdependence of the books, they settled a month apart, to maintain integrity and conversation between the two pounds.
The wait will be long until spring.