Book Reviews: November 2017

The latest from Alice McDermott and Rafael Alvarez.

Gabriella Souza - November 2017

Book Reviews: November 2017

The latest from Alice McDermott and Rafael Alvarez.

Gabriella Souza - November 2017

-Farrar, Straus and Giroux

BookReviews2.jpg#asset:53695

The Ninth Hour 

 By Alice McDermott (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)  

It could be said that Alice McDermott has perfected her subject matter. The National Book Award  winner and Johns Hopkins University professor’s most celebrated works have been set in the world of Irish Catholics in New York as they struggle to build their lives and find an identity in early 20th-century America. That was true of her last book, Someone, and it is true  of her latest. This time,  she explores how one event—a man’s suicide—reverberates through the lives of those around him, from his grief-stricken widow to the nuns who care for his ravaged family in his stead. It is in these women of the cloth that McDermott finds some of her richest characters yet—strong women who steadfastedly fight for the poor and disadvantaged but who receive little notice or acclaim. McDermott has a way of transcending the day-to-day existence of her characters to bring us slices of human truths. We find ourselves drawn into a world that, though much different from our own, is made relevant and relatable through her marvelous prose.

Read our full interview with writer Alice McDermott.


BookReviews1.jpg#asset:53694

Basilio Boullosa Stars In The Fountain of Highlandtown

By Rafael Alvarez  (CityLit Press)

Twenty years ago, a city desk reporter for The Sun debuted his first work of fiction—a short story collection called The Fountain of Highlandtown, which captured the heartache, yearning, and disenchantment of growing up in blue-collar East Baltimore. Much has changed since then: that reporter, Rafael Alvarez, has added several books and a stint writing for the acclaimed TV show The Wire to his resume, subsequently establishing himself as a key voice in capturing Baltimore’s story. (He also occasionally contributes to Baltimore.) Now, he has returned to this familiar territory to bring us another collection, which, like its predecessor, revolves around his alter ego, Basilio Boullosa, an artist who is haunted by the relics of Baltimore’s past. We follow Alvarez’s path, which is ripe with nostalgia and brimming with the in-between feelings that come with understanding that we want to leave our hometown, while not knowing how. Ultimately, Alvarez’s stories serve as a reminder that we can move away, but we’re never really far from where we’ve come from. 





You May Also Like


Arts & Culture

Guitar Heroes

Two brothers run a little music store that could.

Arts & Culture

Music Reviews: May 2018

The latest from Beach House and Caleb Stine.

MaxSpace

Review: Book Club

Because seniors deserve a glossy rom-com, too.


MaxSpace

Review: I Feel Pretty

Despite its mixed message, Amy Schumer vehicle has some laughs and charm.

Food & Drink

Review: Cat's Eye Pub

After more than 40 years, Cat’s Eye Pub keeps on rockin’ in Fells Point.

Arts District

Mini Film Fest at Motor House

Afro-Caribbean stories come to life on the screen.

-Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Connect With Us

Most Read


Review: Ocean's 8: Sandra, Anne, Cate, et al make this heist film better than it should be.

Best Running Routes Around Baltimore: From woody trails to historic sites, these local routes keep runners on their toes.

Enoch Pratt Free Library Eliminates Overdue Fines: At least 13,000 borrowers who had their cards blocked will be welcomed back.

TLC, Toots and The Maytals, and ZZ Ward to Headline Artscape 2018: This year's theme-less free arts festival lets local and national art shine.

Geppi's Entertainment Museum to Close and Donate Collection to Library of Congress: Museum to close on June 3 and donate more than 3,000 items of comic books, pop art, and other memorabilia.