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Alice McDermott

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Alice McDermott
Born (1953-06-27) June 27, 1953 (age 71)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
OccupationNovelist, essayist
EducationState University of New York, Oswego (BA)
University of New Hampshire (MA)
GenreLiterary fiction

Alice McDermott (born June 27, 1953) is an American writer and university professor. For her 1998 novel Charming Billy she won an American Book Award[1] and the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction.[2] She was shortlisted for the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction.[3]

McDermott is Johns Hopkins University's Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities.



McDermott was born in Brooklyn, New York. She attended St. Boniface School in Elmont, New York, on Long Island (1967), Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead (1971), and the State University of New York at Oswego, receiving her BA in 1975, and received her MA from the University of New Hampshire in 1978.

McDermott (left) speaking in 2020

She has taught at UCSD and American University, has been a writer-in-residence at Lynchburg College and Hollins College in Virginia, and was lecturer in English at the University of New Hampshire. McDermott is currently the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University. Her short stories have appeared in Ms., Redbook, Mademoiselle, The New Yorker, and Seventeen. She has also published articles in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

McDermott lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband, a neuroscientist, and three children. She is Catholic, though she once deemed herself "not a very good Catholic."[4]

Awards and honors





  • A Bigamist's Daughter. New York: Random House. 1982.
  • That Night. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1987. ISBN 978-1-4299-2974-5.; reprint 21 February 2005
  • At Weddings and Wakes: A Novel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1992. ISBN 978-1-4299-2962-2.; reprint 24 November 2009
  • Charming Billy. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1998. ISBN 978-1-4299-2970-7.; reprint 24 November 2009
  • Child of My Heart. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002; 2013, ISBN 9781408806678
  • After This. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2006. ISBN 978-0-440-33730-0.; reprint 25 September 2007
  • Someone. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 10 September 2013. ISBN 978-0-374-28109-0.
  • The Ninth Hour: A Novel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 19 September 2017. ISBN 9780374280147.
  • Absolution: A Novel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 31 October 2023. ISBN 978-0374610487. [11]




  1. ^ a b American Booksellers Association (2013). "The American Book Awards / Before Columbus Foundation [1980–2012]". BookWeb. Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 1999 [...] Charming Billy, Alice McDermott
  2. ^ a b "National Book Awards – 1998". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
    (With essays by Alice Elliott Dark and Katie McDonough from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
  3. ^ "James McBride, Alice McDermott among authors on PEN/Faulkner award longlist". AP News. 2024-02-06. Retrieved 2024-03-08.
  4. ^ Boston College Magazine article by her
  5. ^ "National Book Awards – 1987". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  6. ^ a b c "Fiction". Past winners & finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  7. ^ F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival
  8. ^ Kirsten Reach (January 14, 2014). "NBCC finalists announced". Melville House Books. Archived from the original on January 8, 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  9. ^ "Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. January 14, 2014. Archived from the original on January 15, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  10. ^ "Dayton Literary Peace Prize - 2014 Award Finalists". 2014-09-07. Archived from the original on 2014-09-07. Retrieved 2021-01-27.
  11. ^ Patrick, Bethanne (2023-11-07). "'I look for the scary story': How Alice McDermott turned the Vietnam War novel inside out". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2024-03-08.
  12. ^ McDermott, Alice. "Books". Alice McDermott. Archived from the original on 2021-07-09. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  13. ^ "What About the Baby?". Macmillan Publishers. Archived from the original on 2021-06-03. Retrieved 1 July 2021.