Friday November 13th, 2009

Cormac McCarthy’s Next Novel

cormac-portraitJohn Jurgensen at the Wall Street Journal recently sat down for a chat with Cormac McCarthy and John Hillcoat, who directed the adaptation of McCarthy’s The Road. Among many other subjects, McCarthy discusses the novel he’s working on now:

I’m not very good at talking about this stuff. It’s mostly set in New Orleans around 1980. It has to do with a brother and sister. When the book opens she’s already committed suicide, and it’s about how he deals with it. She’s an interesting girl. . . . This long book is largely about a young woman. There are interesting scenes that cut in throughout the book, all dealing with the past. She’s committed suicide about seven years before. I was planning on writing about a woman for 50 years. I will never be competent enough to do so, but at some point you have to try.

Jurgensen also asked the 76-year-old author about his research for The Road:

WSJ: For novels such as Blood Meridian, you did extensive historical research. What kind of research did you do for The Road?

CM: I don’t know. Just talking to people about what things might look like under various catastrophic situations, but not a lot of research. I have these conversations on the phone with my brother Dennis, and quite often we get around to some sort of hideous end-of-the-world scenario and we always wind up just laughing. Anyone listening to this would say, “Why don’t you just go home and get into a warm tub and open a vein.”

WSJ: Brotherly conversation just turns to the apocalypse?

CM: More often than we can justify.