Billy Lynch’s family and friends have gathered to comfort his widow, and to pay their respects to one of the last great romantics. As they trade tales of his famous humor, immense charm, and consuming sorrow, a complex portrait emerges of an enigmatic man, a loyal friend, a beloved husband, an incurable alcoholic. Alice McDermott’s striking novel, Charming Billy, is a study of the lies that bind and the weight of familial love, of the way good intentions can be as destructive as the truth they were meant to hide.
Charming Billy is the winner of the 1998 National Book Award for Fiction.
About the Author
Alice McDermott is the author of seven novels, including Someone, That Night, After This, Child of My Heart, and At Weddings and Wakes. That Night, At Weddings and Wakes, and After This were all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. She is the Richard A. Macksey Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.
Praise for Charming Billy…
“This is fiction as good as it gets.”—USA Today
“A luminous and affecting novel.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“There’s no one like Alice McDermott for catching the ebullient particulars of the Irish-American sensibility…her touch is light as a feather, her perceptions purely accurate.” —Elle
“McDermott demonstrates anew that she is a writer in a league all her own.”—People
“...a rueful shrug of a novel whose strong, shrewd opening pages should be taught in college writing classes.”—Time