Someone (Signed Book)

( 51 )

Overview

A fully realized portrait of one woman’s life in all its complexity, by the National Book Award–winning author

An ordinary life—its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion—lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott’s extraordinary return, seven years after the publication of After This. Scattered recollections—of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age—come together in this transformative ...

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Someone

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Overview

A fully realized portrait of one woman’s life in all its complexity, by the National Book Award–winning author

An ordinary life—its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion—lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott’s extraordinary return, seven years after the publication of After This. Scattered recollections—of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age—come together in this transformative narrative, stitched into a vibrant whole by McDermott’s deft, lyrical voice.
     Our first glimpse of Marie is as a child: a girl in glasses waiting on a Brooklyn stoop for her beloved father to come home from work. A seemingly innocuous encounter with a young woman named Pegeen sets the bittersweet tone of this remarkable novel. Pegeen describes herself as an “amadan,” a fool; indeed, soon after her chat with Marie, Pegeen tumbles down her own basement stairs. The magic of McDermott’s novel lies in how it reveals us all as fools for this or that, in one way or another.
     Marie’s first heartbreak and her eventual marriage; her brother’s brief stint as a Catholic priest, subsequent loss of faith, and eventual breakdown; the Second World War; her parents’ deaths; the births and lives of Marie’s children; the changing world of her Irish-American enclave in Brooklyn—McDermott sketches all of it with sympathy and insight. This is a novel that speaks of life as it is daily lived; a crowning achievement by one of the finest American writers at work today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374975210
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice  McDermott
Alice McDermott
Alice McDermott has a relatively young but already illustrious career: In the space of four slim novels, she has earned two Pulitzer nominations and a National Book Award win for 1998's Charming Billy. She mostly has drawn on her background growing up Irish-American on Long Island to create compelling family portraits, but she is also an author worth watching for the turns she'll take in the future.

Biography

Alice McDermott's latest novel, Charming Billy (1998), which won the National Book Award, tells the tragic story of the late Billy Lynch within the complex matrix of a tightly knit Irish American community. The New York Times Book Review praised the book as "eloquent" and "heartbreaking," and Kirkus Reviews called it "a softly resonant and nostalgic tale told masterfully."

Her first novel, A Bigamists' Daughter (1982), was published to wide acclaim. That Night (1987), her second novel, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In his cover review for The New York Times Book Review, David Leavitt called That Night "an original, a work that revels in a rich, discursive prose style that belongs entirely to Alice McDermott." A film version of That Night was produced by Warner Bros. and released in the spring of 1992. At Weddings and Wakes (1992), her third novel, became a New York Times bestseller. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times praised McDermott's "rich, supple prose" and Bruce Bawer called At Weddings and Wakes "a haunting and masterly work of literary art" in his review for The Wall Street Journal.

McDermott received her B.A. in 1975 from the State University of New York at Oswego, and her M.A. in 1978 from the University of New Hampshire. She has taught at the University of California at San Diego and American University, has been a writer-in-residence at Lynchburg and Hollins Colleges in Virginia, and was lecturer in English at the University of New Hampshire. Her short stories have appeared in Ms., Redbook, Mademoiselle, and Seventeen.

The recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, McDermott is currently writer-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband, a neuroscientist, and three children.

Author biography courtesy of NYS Writers Institute.

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    1. Hometown:
      Bethesda, Maryland
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 27, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., State University of New York-Oswego, 1975; M.A., University of New Hampshire, 1978

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    Wow

    This book is like the life you are living. This book will remind you to stay present for every precious moment. Or to remember with wonder and awe the past you thought was lost. The story is Mary's, but you are in there, too. Don't miss it.

    15 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    So-so

    The story jumped around alot with no breaks or chapters to let you know it was jumping forward or backward in time. This made it somewhat hard to follow. It was boring and i had to force myself to get through it. The saving grace for this bookwas that it was short and the author has a gift of description and painting a picture. Beautiful writing. Not worth the money or time though

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

    Although the writing was excellent, I didn't like the way the st

    Although the writing was excellent, I didn't like the way the story kept jumping from one incident to another and I especially hated the ending. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I really did not care for this story at all. The telling of it

    I really did not care for this story at all. The telling of it was too convoluted for my taste.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    Read it - it's beautiful

    This is probably one of the most beautifully written new novels I've read in years, at least since I read Andrei Makine's "Dreams of My Russian Summers" back in 1995. I'd caught a bit of an interview with the author on "Charlie Rose" and thought I'd give it a try. I liked how she talked about creating the character in the 3rd person then decided she had so much life in her, how could she not change it to a 1st person narrative? It's a very sad story but it's always consoling. Well-crafted sentences and plot flow effortlessly, conversationally, like one's own memories in and out of chronology but easy to follow. I need to go back and read some of her earlier books, now.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 4, 2013

    Odd

    This book is not very good. I have read this author previously, and that is why I purchased this book. I did not enjoy it.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    Amazingly well written

    I loved this book! My daughter once described my reading taste as "realistic fiction." That is how I would describe this book. It is so well written, it held my interest throughout.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2013

    McDermott's ability to make ordinary people living unremarkable

    McDermott's ability to make ordinary people living unremarkable lives captured this reader's heart. Her eloquent prose is a joy to linger over. I loved this book and was sad to see it end. If you enjoy books deep in character, you will love "Someone."

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    An Ordinary Life

    Alice McDermott turns an ordinary life into a spectacular one due to her beautiful writing. The story filled me with wonder. A quick read that will stay on your mind for weeks.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 25, 2013

    Pretty Good

    Not the page turner I expected but still a good read

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Read me for interesting news

    This is my aunt and if you rate this book i can tell her what you think of it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    I love this book and sorta didn't

    HI I HAVE READ THIS BOOK AND LOVE I T IT IS A BESTSELLING BOOK AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO ARE BLIND AND WHO IS LOOKING FOR A GOOD READ. I WOULD HIGHLY SUGGEST THAT YOU GET THIS BOOK FOR YOUR NOOK. BUT I THOUGHT THE SEX WAS NOT GOOD TO PUT INTO THE BOOK I MEN REALLY WHO WOULD PUT SEX IN A BOOK? I WILL MAKE A LIST OF WHY THE BOOK IS GOOD AND NOT GOOD:

    GOOD:
    A. NO STRONG LANGUAGE
    B. NO VIOLENCE
    C. BEST SELLER
    D. NEW READ
    E. IT IS BY ALICE MCDORMIT
    F. ABOUT A GIRL WITH A DISABILITY

    BAD:
    A. THE FACT THAT ALICE GOT FUNG FROM HER CHAIR AND GOT HER MOUTH WASHED OUT WITH SOAP FOR SAYING SOMETHING THAT SHE DIDN'T MEAN TO SAY
    B. THEY MADE FUN OF HER EYE CONDITION
    C. HER MOTHER GOT MAD AT HER FOR NOT READING THE RECIPIE FOR SODA BREAD
    D. HER DAD GOT SICK
    E. HER MOTHER LEFT HER AT HOME TO GO BE WITH HER FATHER I AM GOING TO GIVE MY HONIEST OPPINION: IF YOU SEE ANYTHING HAVEING TO DO WITH ANY SEXUAL CONTACT, PLEASE IGNOR THE SEXUAL CONTENT IF YOU CAN. I HAVE LISTENED TO THE BOOK ON MY DIGITAL TALKING BOOK PLAYER AND THINK IT IS A GOOD READ

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    Hi

    Hi

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    I love Alice McDermott. Her novels draw you in and keep you there.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2014

    Abuse of yo momma

    What now son

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    abuse of reviews

    I dont know why b&n puts up with people who use this sextion as a messagee board!!! See 1, 3 and 13 for starters!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    mina.bulaya@gmail.com

    Add me

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    Very good read!

    Very good read all the way to the end

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    To the awsome

    I am a happy mom my kids are not here they are with at my boyfriend's house i miss my kids they are in st louis at the hopital we don't kwon why if you have need ...... plz text me i will text you back thanks love you isabella

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    No one writes about the Irish American experience better than Al

    No one writes about the Irish American experience better than Alice McDermott. Her National Book Award winning novel, Charming Billy, is the perfect example of that.
    Her latest novel, Someone, tells the story of Marie, an ordinary Irish American girl growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s. Marie waits on her stoop everyday for her beloved father to come home from work, watching the activity on the block- the boys playing stickball, Billy Corrigan, blinded from the war, umpiring the game, and the men and women walking home from the subway.
    Someone is all about an ordinary life- Marie's life. She goes to Catholic school, has a good friend Gertie, and a brother Gabe who is studying for the priesthood. The book goes back and forth in time, so we see the entirety of Marie's life- childhood, young adulthood, marriage, motherhood, sickness, health, births, deaths, growing old.
    One thing that makes Marie stand out is that she has a problem with her eye. It affects not only her vision, but her outward appearance as well. When she finally gets a boyfriend, she feels elated. That balloon is burst when he dumps her for a woman who is prettier and comes from a wealthier family.
    The title of the book comes from an exchange she has with her brother over this heartbreak. He tells her that the world is filled with cruelty and when she asks Gabe "Who will love me?", and he says "Someone-someone will."
    And someone does. She meets Tom, who was abandoned by his vaudeville parents and nearly became an orphan train boy until a nun sent him to live with her widowed sister who just lost her son in a drowning. They build a life and a family together.
    McDermott fills her beautiful novel with quiet moments of life- a mother brushing lint off the jacket of her son in his coffin, waiting to be picked up by family members at the airport, a baby sleeping warmly on his mother's shoulder.
    Her language is gorgeous too. She speaks of aging as "a precarious ledge life carried you to, the ledge you lived on when you were an old woman alone, four good children or no." Of her husband, Marie said "he had the kind of face you wanted to put your palm to, like a child's."
    After reading Someone, it would hard to pass by a person on the street and not wonder what his life story is. Everyone has a story and Marie was lucky enough to have Alice McDermott conjure up hers. And I was lucky enough to read it. I put Someone on my list of Most Compelling Reads of 2013.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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