Top 50 Power Women – 2016

Alice McDermott/Author

Alice McDermott is an internationally acclaimed author and professor at the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. Her seventh and most recent novel, Someone, was a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Patterson Prize for Fiction, and long-listed for the National Book Award. Her 1998 novel Charming Billy won the National Book Award. Her novels have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize three times. Most recently, her short story “These Short, Dark Days” appeared in the New Yorker.

Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island by first-generation Irish American parents, Alice has always been drawn to the New York Irish landscape in her work, drawing on its characters to explore universal themes of desire, love, and loss. “I sometimes feel that the longer I live, the more my Irish heritage percolates up through my DNA,” she says. “I recognize it in the stories I tell, the words I choose – in what moves me, what haunts me, what makes me laugh.”

Alice has lived in Bethesda, MD since 1989 with her husband, David Armstrong, and they have three children: Will, Eames, and Patrick. Her father’s family comes from Mayo and Cork, and her mother’s Donegal and Kerry. This summer, she looks forward to visiting her paternal grandfather’s birthplace on Achill Island for the first time.