After This

There are some writers—a handful, a very few—who by looking intently and penetratingly at one place reveal piercing things about all places and all people, and so paradoxically they are the very antithesis of regional writers. Among them: Faulkner on Mississippi, Walker Percy on Louisiana, Steinbeck on California—and Alice McDermott on Irish Catholic New York. After This, her sixth novel (her fourth, Charming Billy, won the National Book Award), not only cements her reputation as one of our best novelists, but affirms the fact that no other fiction writer has caught the dreams and drearies, the grace and grit, of the urban American Irish Catholic experience with her resonance and power.


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