Cormac McCarthy, 89, has a new novel — two, actually. And they’re almost perfect in their way.
Cormac and his wife, the novelist Elizabethn Carey, have just published their third novel, The Crossing, which was originally published in the U.K. as The Other Side of the Bridge. And it’s a terrific novel.
“The Other Side of the Bridge” is set in the 1950s, during the McCarthy era, when the American government is trying to remove its Jewish citizens. So it’s a novel that looks at the “persecution” in which the author and his family have lived their entire lives, and also looks at the fact that the McCarthy era is more relevant now than ever.
McCarthy, a Canadian-born former U.S. diplomat, wrote three earlier novels, A River Runs Through It, The Crossing and The Oranges of Heaven. He was fired after the publication of “The Crossing” and then rehired by Random House. He was fired later that year, though. And a few months after that, he moved back to his native Canada.
So what was so great about this novel? Well, it’s an extraordinary novel.
I read it in about half an hour, and I’m hooked. I’ve read it twice.
Cormac is also a prolific writer of nonfiction, too. His most recent book, The Oranges of Heaven, takes the reader through McCarthy’s life — the years he spent in the U.S. embassy in Ottawa, where he was an influential diplomat before the U.S. expelled him for being a Communist.
That book is a wonderful read — it’s funny, informative and well-written, and it’s part of a trilogy that includes World Without End and The Oranges of Heaven. They’re terrific.
If you want something like that in your hands, you shouldn’t miss your chance.
McCarthy, by the way, did not write The Other Side of the Bridge while he was rehired — and that wasn’t a mistake, either.
“It was part of a process, and what I was doing with the publisher, Random House, was I was giving them options of the next thing I was going to write,” says McCarthy.
“And I did give them the rights to The Crossing, but they said that if it was a work as good as ‘The Crossing’ I