Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Cormac McCarthy Sighting: Oprah Snags Elusive Tennessee Author

The Literary Division of AltTulsa keeps up with the enormously talented but extremely elusive Tennessee writer Cormac McCarthy. So were surprised and pleased to see McCarthy yesterday on the Oprah show, where he sat for an interview with the great lady herself.

Although we had met McCarthy at a lunch many years ago in Knoxville, it was great to see him on television talking about himself and his work. McCarthy seemed relaxed and friendly, more like we remember him and less the secretive author some McCarthy watchers have speculated about.

The occasion for McCarthy's first television interview ever was his 2006 novel The Road, which was an Oprah Book Club selection. That fact, or perhaps Oprah herself, apparently softened McCarthy's media shyness. In any case, McCarthy proved to be a soft-spoken and likable fellow. He answered Oprah's questions thoughtfully and without apparent ego. We even liked the interview setting, a "think tank" for scientists in Santa Fe. McCarthy confessed that he preferred the company of scientists to writers.

We don't expect that McCarthy will be showing up on television much in the future. But based on this Oprah appearance, we'd like to have lunch with him again sometime soon.

Meanwhile, we'll be working our way through The Road.

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