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SAN MARCOS, Texas — The Southwestern Writers Collection at Texas State University-San Marcos has purchased the archives of novelist Cormac McCarthy, a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
McCarthy, 74, is widely considered one of the nation’s best writers for his lyrical but violent tales, many of which are set in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.
He was awarded a Pulitzer for his 2006 novel, “The Road,” and in 1992 won the National Book Award for “All the Pretty Horses.” His 2005 novel “No Country for Old Men” was the basis for a recent Coen brothers movie.
Texas State said the archives include correspondence, notes, drafts and proofs of his 11 novels. There is also a draft of an unfinished novel and materials related to a play and four screenplays. The center hopes to open the archives to the public in the fall.
The papers could offer rare insight on an author who has given few interviews over the past four decades.
Individual and foundation support supplemented university funding for the $2 million purchase, officials said.
“Ever since I read the first paragraph of ‘Blood Meridian’ and went on to read all of his other books, I’ve known how exceptional he is,” said Connie Todd, curator of the writers collection. “And now to be in a position to make his archives available to people who love his work as much as I do and preserve them forever … is a great responsibility and one that we welcome.”
Bill Wittliff, an Austin screenwriter and photographer who co-founded the collection in 1982, helped negotiate the deal.
“I actually started talking to Cormac McCarthy about this 21 years ago, when (my wife) Sally and I founded the Southwestern Writers Collection,” Wittliff said. Discussions began in earnest last fall when McCarthy told Wittliff he was ready.
“I think he’s the greatest living American writer,” Wittliff said. “I think Cormac McCarthy is one of the immortals.”
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