When Cormac McCarthy died in June at age eighty-nine, the news touched off grief and adulation such as contemporary literary authors rarely inspire. Musicians, scientists, conservatives, Catholics, all have claimed him. One man circulated and posted the notes he’d taken after a series of phone calls with the author in the early nineties. A woman confessed to having stolen his garbage. As for me, I drove the mountain roads in Vermont this summer, thinking about McCarthy and imagining things. I might learn to can peaches, buy a gun, order iodine tablets, fit a hand pump on the well, dig a root cellar, stock an apocalypse pantry . . .
The response is McCarthy’s due, as he is widely regarded as one of America’s greatest novelists. But it also seems like a demand for a different kind of literary fiction than the kind we currently have, one with concerns Christians will recognize, penned by a different kind of writer.