What About the Baby? Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction
by Alice McDermott | The Boston Globe

(My first review for The Boston Globe! New publications are always exciting, but this one’s particularly meaningful because I lived in Boston for many years and loved it there.)

In “Faith and Literature,” an essay from her first non-fiction collection “What About the Baby?”, the award-winning novelist Alice McDermott explains the origins of her fictional milieu: “I write about a culture I know fairly well in order to resist the siren song of research.” The culture she’s referring to is that of Irish Catholics, mostly in Brooklyn or Long Island, at various points in the twentieth century. McDermott, as one would deduce, was born in Brooklyn and educated in Long Island, the daughter of Irish Catholic parents—“a cradle Catholic,” as she describes herself. She regularly explores the way the past haunts the present, community mythology, alcoholism, and the life-altering effects of grief. Continue reading…

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