A Bold Piece

Someone
Alice McDermott
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25, 232 pp.

Alice McDermott doesn’t do trendy. Verbal pyrotechnics aren’t part of her arsenal; making pronouncements on the way we live now isn’t her aim. There’s no head-spinning riffing on the classics, modern or otherwise, no stoking of dystopian anxieties. There may be eating, praying, and loving, but only to suggest the redemptive qualities of the quotidian, not as a prescription for happiness.

What McDermott does is immediacy. In clear, purposeful prose she examines the near at hand—...

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About the Author

Dominic Preziosi is Commonweal’s digital editor.