Ireland House Oral History Collection

Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott. Photo courtesy of .


12 November 2010

2 hours, 1 minute, 27 seconds

Preferred Citation:

Ireland House Oral History Collection, Archives of Irish America, New York University

Biographical Note:

Alice McDermott was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1953. She was raised in the suburban community of Elmont, Long Island, New York. She graduated from St. Boniface grammar school in 1967 and Sacred Heart Academy in Hampstead, New York in 1971. She received her BA from The State University of New York (Oswego) in 1975 and her MA from the University of New Hampshire in 1978.

She has written a number of novels starting with 1983's A Bigamist's Daughter. That was followed by 1987's That Night, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Price. 1992's At Weddings and Wakes was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize as well as her first novel to be a New York Times bestseller. That was followed by 1998's Charming Billy which won the National Book Award for fiction. Her most recent works are 2002's Child of My Heart: A Novel and 2006's Pulitzer Prize finalist After This. She has also written extensively for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post. Her articles range from personal essays to book reviews.

She is currently the Richard A. Macksey Professor of Humanities at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. In the past she has taught at University of California San Diego, American University, Lynchburg (VA) College and Hollins College in Virginia. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and three children.


Photo Credit:

  1. Alice McDermott. Photo courtesy of