Brian Doyle '78 | Apr. 1, 2014 | Notre Dame Magazine
Me, personally, my reading mostly is a welter of older work that I never did get to and now very much wish to (Henry William’s masterpiece Tarka the Otter, Charles Roberts’ masterpiece Red Fox, Joseph Conrad’s memoirs, Ulysses Grant’s memoirs, Annie Dillard’s Holy the Firm, Norman Lewis’ lean perfect haunting Naples ’44, about his service in the war), but the single best new book I have read in the last year is Alice McDermott’s Someone, which was pretty much as good as her novels After This, which was terrific, and Charming Billy, which was terrific and which won the National Book Award, not that national awards are any sure indication of sterling quality — Jerzy Kozinski won the National Book award, for heaven’s sake.
But I digress.
Let me count some of the ways McDermott is amazing.