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The Crossing

About the Book

The Crossing

The author biography and questions that follow are designed to enhance your group's reading and discussion of Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing. We hope that they will provide you with new ways of looking at--and talking about--the latest novel by a writer who has been compared to Melville, Hemingway, and Faulkner. The Crossing is the second volume of the Border Trilogy that began with All the Pretty Horses. Like that earlier novel, The Crossing is also set in New Mexico and Mexico. The time period is somewhat earlier, between 1940 and 1944. The background, however, is the Mexican Revolution early in the century, whose campaigns and atrocities have by now become nearly legendary events.

On the day that Billy Parham leaves his father's house to trap a wolf that has been preying on the herds, he crosses from the time we measure with calendars into an older, immeasurable dream-time--and into a world in which the only order is "that which death has put there [p. 45]. Indeed, on several occasions, Billy himself is unaware of even the month of the year. McCarthy's achievement in The Crossing has been to render that timeless world in all its savagery and beauty. In doing so, he lays bare the mythic skeleton of the American West, telling a story of a ruinous quest for a dubious grail, undertaken by a hero who only dimly guesses what he is looking for and is cruelly diminished by the things he finds.

The Crossing
by Cormac McCarthy

  • Publication Date: March 14, 1995
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN-10: 0679760849
  • ISBN-13: 9780679760849