The National Book Foundation today announced its longlist for the 2013 National Book Award in Fiction, and the list of notable novelists includes one of Hopkins' own: Alice McDermott of the Krieger School's Writing Seminars.
The foundation gave the nod to Someone, McDermott's seventh novel and her third nomination for the National Book Award. That Night was a finalist in 1987, and Charming Billy won the award in 1998. That Night, At Weddings and Wakes, and After This were all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.
A reviewer on NPR's Fresh Air recently described "the spectacular power of McDermott's writing" in Someone, the story of an ordinary woman born in pre-World War II Brooklyn: "Without ever putting on literary airs, she reveals to us what's distinct about characters who don't have the ego or eloquence to make a case for themselves as being anything special."
This fall, McDermott, the Richard A. Macksey Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities, is the instructor for a graduate-level fiction workshop, guiding the discussion and critique of fiction manuscripts by students enrolled in the M.F.A. program. She joined the Writing Seminars at Hopkins in 1996.
This is the first time that the National Book Foundation has presented longlists for its awards. Others on the 10-author list include Joan Silber (Fools), Thomas Pynchon (Bleeding Edge), and James McBride (The Good Lord Bird).
The finalists will be announced Oct. 16.