"What About the Baby?": Essays by Alice McDermott on writing fiction
Tom's guest today is the acclaimed author, Alice McDermott. She is the winner of a National Book Award. Three of her novels have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, and she’s garnered many other prizes and accolades in a career that has spanned 40 years, and counting.
She’s an insightful observer of the passing parade and her prose is a delight to encounter. Books like Charming Billy, After This, Someone, or her most recent novel, The Ninth Hour, have afforded readers some of the most enjoyable and enlightening experiences available in contemporary fiction.
Alice McDermott has long been revered as a teacher of writing as well, serving for many years on the faculties of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her latest book is a work of non-fiction, in which she proffers what might be dubbed a Bill of Rights for readers, and a how-to guide for writers. It is a celebration of great writing, and an investigation into what makes great writing, great.
It’s called What About the Baby?: Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction. Alice McDermott joins us on our digital line from her home in Bethesda, Maryland.