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Alice McDermott

Biography

Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott is the author of seven previous novels, including AFTER THIS; CHILD OF MY HEART; CHARMING BILLY,winner of the 1998 National Book Award; AT WEDDINGS AND WAKES; and SOMEONE --- all published by FSG. THAT NIGHT, AT WEDDINGS AND WAKES, and AFTER THIS were all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and elsewhere. She is the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.

Alice McDermott

Books by Alice McDermott

by Alice McDermott - Fiction

On a dim winter afternoon, a young Irish immigrant opens the gas taps in his Brooklyn tenement. He is determined to prove --- to the subway bosses who have recently fired him, to his badgering, pregnant wife --- “that the hours of his life belong to himself alone.” In the aftermath of the fire that follows, Sister St. Savior, an aging nun, a Little Sister of the Sick Poor, appears, unbidden, to direct the way forward for his widow and his unborn child. In Catholic Brooklyn, in the early part of the twentieth century, decorum, superstition, and shame collude to erase the man’s brief existence, and yet his suicide, although never spoken of, reverberates through many lives.

by Alice McDermott - Fiction

We first glimpse Marie Commeford as a child: a girl in thick glasses observing her pre-Depression world from a Brooklyn stoop. Through her first heartbreak and eventual marriage; her delicate brother’s brief stint as a Catholic priest and his emotional breakdown; her career as a funeral director’s “consoling angel”; the deaths of her parents and the births of her children --- we follow Marie through the changing world of the 20th century and her Irish-American enclave.