The Archives: Alice McDermott

A few months before Charming Billy‘s publication in December 1997, Alice McDermott recorded a brief interview about the novel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux then distributed the audio – on cassette – to sales representatives and interested booksellers as to drum up interest.

While this is fairly common practice, the book’s reception was anything but: after enormous critical success it would go on to win the 1998 National Book Award.