I've been out of town the last few days, attending the funeral of my Great Uncle, so this post will be short. That "Great", I should add, isn't just a title to apply. He was a great man. In a lot of ways, he was a third grandfather to me. The world is worse off without him in it.
The funeral was in the small town I grew up in, four hours away, so I was out of commission almost all day, both attending the service and then driving back. But you can imagine my surprise when I opened my phone once back in Omaha and saw this in my Twitter mentions:
I mean, holy shit.
Or, if that's too profane for you, you can see my actual immediate thoughts upon hearing the news here.
Honestly, I'm still kind of blown away. Years back, I was able to go through some of McCarthy's papers at the Witliff Collection in San Marcos, at Texas State University. I knew they had a rough copy of THE PASSENGER there, but it was under lock and key, and, despite literally begging, I wasn't even allowed to see the box the manuscript was in.
“Stella Maris,” which will be released on Nov. 22 and serves as a coda to “The Passenger,” tells Alicia’s story, over roughly 200 pages. The narrative unfolds entirely in dialogue, as a transcript between Alicia and her doctor at a psychiatric institution in Wisconsin in 1972, where Alicia, a 20-year-old doctoral candidate in mathematics at the University of Chicago, receives a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.