Upcoming Special Literary Event

Author Visit: Alice McDermott

Absolution (2023)

Monday, May 6 • 1:00pm-2:15pm • Zoom

Course 12590 • $30

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Meet Alice McDermott, prolific novelist, Professor of Humanities at Johns Hopkins University, and winner of the National Book Award for Charming Billy, in conversation with Anna Katsavos as they discuss McDermott's ninth and latest novel, Absolution (2023). This New York Times bestseller recounts the fictional interior lives of two American corporate wives, unencumbered by the virtue of humility, living in Saigon in the years before the Vietnam War, and the legacy of their charitable attempts to "do good" for the Vietnamese. Sixty years later, as one of the two wives reconnects with the daughter of the other, the shared memories yield a reckoning about the wives' altruistic efforts that parallel the unintended consequences of America's involvement in Southeast Asia's political landscape. McDermott's ninth novel contains pithy observations and a Barbie doll-centric plot device as it captures in absorbing detail the folly of the expat socialite lifestyle and white savior complex. Time will be reserved for audience Q&A.

ALICE McDERMOTT is an award-winning novelist and current Richard A. Macksey Professor of Humanities at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of A Bigamist’s Daughter (1982), That Night (1987), At Weddings and Wakes (1992), Charming Billy (1998), Child of My Heart (2002), After This (2006), Someone (2013), The Ninth Hour (2017), and, her latest fiction, Absolution (2023). Charming Billy won both the National Book Award and the American Book Award. Three of McDermott’s other works have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and several have been in contention for the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, among many other literary honors. Her stories, essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and elsewhere. She has received the Whiting Award, Centenary’s Corrington Award for Literary Excellence, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Achievement in American Literature. In 2013, she was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame.

Register for Author Visit: Alice McDermott, Absolution (2023) on Monday, May 6, 2024, at 1pm via Zoom (Course 12590) 

Pair our special event with the online book discussion, also in the spring schedule. Separate registration is required.

Book Chat with Anna Katsavos: Absolution (2023)

by Alice McDermott

Tuesday, May 28 • 10:00am-11:30am • ZoomCourse 12580 • $30

ANNA KATSAVOS, PhD, is an experienced book group facilitator. A SUNY Professor Emerita of English Literature and Women’s Studies, she has received numerous awards for teaching, and her scholarship has been published in a variety of literary journals. She has interviewed many best-selling authors and has presented interactive programs focusing on a wide range of women’s issues. Additionally, she conducts writing, editing and publishing workshops.

Register for Book Chat with Anna Katsavos: Absolution (2023) by Alice McDermott on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, at 10am via Zoom (Course 12580)
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