Alice McDermott biography

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Alice McDermott
Photo: Jamie Schoenberger

Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott Biography

Alice McDermott was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1953.  Her first novel, A Bigamists' Daughter, was published to wide acclaim in 1982. That Night (1987), her second novel, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In his cover review for The New York Times Book Review, David Leavitt called That Night "an original, a work that revels in a rich, discursive prose style that belongs entirely to Alice McDermott." A film version of That Night was produced by Warner Bros. and released in the spring of 1992. At Weddings and Wakes (1992), her third novel, became a New York Times bestseller. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times praised McDermott's "rich, supple prose" and Bruce Bawer called At Weddings and Wakes "a haunting and masterly work of literary art" in his review for The Wall Street Journal.

Charming Billy (1998), won the National Book Award. It tells the tragic story of the late Billy Lynch within the complex matrix of a tightly knit Irish American community. The New York Times Book Review praised the book as "eloquent" and "heartbreaking," and Kirkus Reviews called it "a softly resonant and nostalgic tale told masterfully. . ." Ms. McDermott's other books include Child of My Heart and After This.

Ms. McDermott received her B.A. in 1975 from the State University of New York at Oswego, and her M.A. in 1978 from the University of New Hampshire. She has taught at the University of California at San Diego and American University, has been a writer-in-residence at Lynchburg and Hollins Colleges in Virginia, and was lecturer in English at the University of New Hampshire. Her short stories have appeared in Ms., Redbook, Mademoiselle, and Seventeen.

The recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, Ms. McDermott is currently writer-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She lives outside Washington, with her husband, a neuroscientist, and three children.



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Books by this Author

Books by Alice McDermott at BookBrowse
Someone jacket After This jacket Child Of My Heart jacket Charming Billy jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Alice McDermott but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Pat Conroy

    Pat Conroy

    Pat Conroy, born in Atlanta in 1945, was the first of seven children of a young career military officer from Chicago and a Southern beauty from Alabama, whom Pat often credited for his love of language. The Conroys moved ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    After This

    Try:
    South of Broad
    by Pat Conroy

  • Mary Gaitskill

    Mary Gaitskill

    Mary Gaitskills works include the Collection, Because They Wanted To, which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1998 and the novels, The Mare (2015), Bad Behavior (1988), Two Girls, Fat and Thin (1991), Veronica (2005... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Child Of My Heart

    Try:
    Veronica
    by Mary Gaitskill

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