One of the literary giants of the 20th century and beyond, Cormac McCarthy lived something of a hermetic existence while writing dense, but sparsely populated prose that was often compared to William Faulkner, James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway. Posing a nightmarish vision steeped in biblical violence, McCarthy wrote bleak novels of life and death populated by social outcasts and unrelenting misfits that existed on surreal plains of America's mythical Southwest. Using little in the way of punctuation and never using quotation marks to separate dialogue, McCarthy earned high praise for novels like <i>Outer Dark</i> (1968), <i>Child of God</i> (1973), and <i>Suttree</i> (1979), though very few copies were initially sold upon release. While hailed within literary circles as a reclusive genius who paradoxically possessed an outwardly gregarious nature, McCarthy had little in the way of readership. In 1985, he released his most acclaimed novel, <i>Blood Meridian</i>, to little fanfare, though later in his career it was held up as a literary classic on par with <i>Moby Dick</i>. McCarthy's fortunes changed with his bestseller <i>All the Pretty Horses</i>, which won several awards and was turned into a 2000 film starring Matt Damon. His most high-profile book-to-film, "No Country for Old Men" (2007), earned four Academy Awards, while "The Road" (2009), starring Viggo Mortensen, only enhanced his reputation as one of the greatest literary talents of the past 50 years.