Literary Nonfiction. After teaching Cormac McCarthy's bloodiest, most challenging novel to her students for years, Stephanie Reents feels no closer to the strange void at the heart of Blood Meridian than when she began. So she journeys west, following the trail of the historical Glanton Gang across the desert landscape that McCarthy loves. In his archives, she discovers an obscure note about the kid--the novel's enigmatic protagonist--that might explain why this infamous novel is so hard to shake. This is part of Fiction Advocate's Afterwords series.