Any adjective you put before the noun 'writer' is going to be limiting in some way. Whether it's feminist writer, Jewish writer, Russian writer, or whatever.

Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott

Profession: Author
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

Much of my experience with language was formed in the church, which has an oral tradition. There are lots of repetitions in prayers and song refrains. There's a sense of incantation, that if you call not once and not twice but for a third time, the spirit appears.

With her silence alone she held off, for a moment longer, the suggestion that the worst was over, the tree had fallen, the storm was passing, and time, as she was given to saying, was marching on: school tomorrow, work for their father, laundry, shopping, meals. For just a moment more, she let them linger.

Pauline had restored order after the ordeal of the birth. She had swallowed her revulsion—what a mess it had made—restored order, made things right for the homecoming.

I know Irish-American people. I know what their homes look like. I know what they have for dinner. I know how they turn a phrase.

Then he noticed her boys. They were standing side by side at the edge of the driveway, their plastic guns still in their hands and their faces pale and forlorn beneath the toy helmets, his own Tony, God bless him, with a comforting arm around each.

It would be a different Church if I were running it. And so lifted the burden of that terrible morning with some laughter.

I think place and time for me is often a matter of convenience, something I can use to another end rather than something I'm trying to define because it's somehow fascinating to me in itself. It's more what the place can do for the larger goals I have for the work.

Maybe, she said to Pauline, not looking at her, just turning her head a bit to speak to her from across the aisle and over her shoulder. Not whispering either. Maybe it was just the wind.

Michael looked through the rolled-up window, across the long and empty parking lot to the dark green pines that seemed to be raising their arms to the wind, shaking spindly fists. His.

Who can know the heart of a man?

I've always believed you go to literature to find the shared human experience, not the categorized human experience.

Most of the characters I write with don't think an awful lot about their faith. They're not always questioning the church or feeling confined by the church or rebelling against the church.

What is wrong with you? their father was saying. Why can't you behave? Michael—it was not fear on his face, only a kind of disbelief, as if this tall, red-faced, shouting man had materialized out of the wind—looked up to say, Just playing. I was just playing.

Being Irish-American myself, Irish-American material is readily at hand to me.