Revisit Cormac McCarthy’s Early Writings, View Libraries’ Unique Holdings
June 14, 2023
Cormac McCarthy stories in the Phoenix literary magazine, 1959 and 1960
Cormac McCarthy stories in the Phoenix literary magazine, 1959 and 1960

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy passed away on June 13 at age 89.

Long before his books — including The Road and No Country for Old Men — made him popular, McCarthy penned stories for the student literary magazine Phoenix while enrolled at the University of Tennessee.

He wrote Wake for Susan in the fall 1959 edition and A Drowning Incident in the spring 1960 edition.

The UT Libraries’ Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives is home to several first edition or first printing copies of McCarthy’s books, including signed copies of The Orchard Keeper and The Stone Mason.

Special Collections also houses some McCarthy correspondence, a collection of letters between him and Memphis-based author John Fergus Ryan, written between 1976 and 1985.

All materials are available for viewing.

signed copy of The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy
Signed copy of The Orchard Keeper and first edition of Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy

This fall, Special Collections will feature an exhibit based on a recently acquired collection related to McCarthy’s book Suttree, which is based in Knoxville.

The University of Tennessee Press has published several scholarly works examining the impact of McCarthy’s works and their influence on the literary world. Those titles include Cormac McCarthy’s Violent Destinies, Cormac McCarthy’s Literary Evolution, and In the Wake of the Sun: Navigating the Southern Works of Cormac McCarthy.