David Madden (1933- ) was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on July 25, 1933 to James and Emile Merritt Madden. After graduating from high school in 1951, Madden entered the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He later dropped out, moved to New York City, and joined the Merchant Marines. After being discharged in 1955 from the Army, Madden returned to the University of Tennessee where he graduated with a BA in education in 1957. He went on to graduate from San Francisco State University in 1958 with an MA in creative writing and then attended the Yale School of Drama from 1959-1960 on a John Golden fellowship.
Madden has written several fiction novels; his first, The Beautiful Greed, was published in 1961. Later novels include Cassandra Singing (1969), The Suicide's Wife (1978), and Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War (1996). Additionally, Madden has authored several poems, plays, and nonfiction works as well as collections of stories and literary criticisms.
Madden has taught at several higher education institutions, but has spent the majority of his professional life at Louisiana State University. He began as the writer-in-residence in 1968, a position he held until 1992. He then served as the Director of the Creative Writing Program, Founding Director of the United States Civil War Center, and retired in 2008 as Robert Penn Warren Professor of Creative Writing, Emeritus.
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Richard Marius (1933-1999) was born to Henry and Eunice Marius on July 23, 1933, in Martel, Tennessee. He grew up on a farm in Loudon County. After high school, he attended the University of Tennessee and graduated with a BS in journalism in 1954. Marius also earned a BD from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1958, and an MA and PhD from Yale, graduating in 1962. He taught at Gettysburg College and the University of Tennessee before leaving for Harvard University in 1978 to direct the expository writing program.
Marius was the author of both fiction and nonfiction works. His prose titles include The Coming of the Rain (1969), Bound for the Promised Land (1976), and An Affair of Honor (2001). He also published Reading Faulkner (2006), A Writer’s Companion (1985), and the McGraw-Hill College Handbook (1985). In addition, he wrote several biographies including Luther (1974) and Thomas More: A Biography (1984).
Cormac McCarthy (1933- ) was born Charles McCarthy to Gladys and Charles Joseph McCarthy on July 20, 1933, in Providence, Rhode Island. At the age of four, his family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where his father worked as a lawyer for the Tennessee Valley Authority. McCarthy attended Catholic High School in Knoxville and briefly attended the University of Tennessee before joining the U.S. Air Force in 1953. He returned to the university from 1957-1959. During this time, he published two stories in the student literary magazine, The Phoenix, and earned the Ingram-Merrill Award for creative writing.
His first book, The Orchard Keeper, was published in 1965. Since then, McCarthy has written several novels, plays, and screenplays. His writings span many genres such as western, Southern Gothic, and post-apocalyptic. Other novels include Outer Dark (1968), Blood Meridian (1985), and The Crossing (1994). Several of his works have been adapted into films, including All the Pretty Horses (1992) and No Country for Old Men (2005). He has won numerous fellowships and literary awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1969, a MacArthur Fellowship in 1981, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Road.
Writer Horace McCoy (1897-1955) was born in Pegram, Tennessee on April 14, 1897, to James Harris and Nancye McCoy. He served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War I. After the war, he lived in Dallas and worked as a reporter and sportswriter. During this time, he also had some of his writings published in pulp magazines. In the 1930s, McCoy was a scriptwriter for several major film studios including Columbia, Warner Brothers, and Paramount. Some of his produced works include Postal Inspector (1936), Persons in Hiding (1939), and Gentleman Jim (1942).
Many of McCoy's novels take place during the Great Depression. His first novel, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, is, arguably, his most remembered. The book was published in 1935 and made into a movie in 1969, directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Jane Fonda and Michael Sarrazin. His other works include No Pockets in a Shroud (1948), Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1948), and Scalpel (1952).