Farrar, Straus & Giroux
(September 2017)



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Alice McDermott

On a dim winter afternoon, a young Irish immigrant opens the gas taps in his Brooklyn tenement. He is determined to prove—to the subway bosses who have recently fired him, to his badgering pregnant wife—“that the hours of his life belong to himself alone.” In the aftermath of the fire that follows, Sister St. Savior, an aging nun and Little Sister of the Sick Poor, appears, unbidden, to direct the way forward for his widow and his unborn child.

In Catholic Brooklyn in the early part of the twentieth century, decorum, superstition, and shame collude to erase the man's brief existence, and yet his suicide, although never spoken of, reverberates through many lives—testing the limits and the demands of love and sacrifice, of forgiveness and forgetfulness, even through multiple generations.

Rendered with remarkable lucidity and intelligence, The Ninth Hour is a crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.

Alice McDermott is the author of six previous novels, including After This; Child of My Heart; Charming Billy, winner of the 1998 National Book Award; At Weddings and Wakes; That Night; and Someone. That Night, At Weddings and Wakes, and After This were all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Her stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and elsewhere. She is the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.

Available Rights

Language Territory Type Agency Client
German World Book Christian Dittus
Fritz AG


8. May 2017, Foreign licence
UK: Bloomsbury


8. June 2017, Review
Everything that her readers, the National Book Award committee, and the Pulitzer Prize judges love about McDermott's stories of Irish-Catholic American life is back in her eighth novel. (starred review)

Kirkus Reviews

8. June 2017, Foreign licence
Spain: Libros del Asteroide; France: La Table Ronde; Catalan: Minuscule


20. September 2017, Review
National Book Award winner McDermott (Someone) delivers an immense, brilliant novel about the limits of faith, the power of sacrifice, and the cost of forgiveness. (starred review)

Publishers Weekly

20. September 2017, Review
Everything that her readers, the National Book Award committee, and the Pulitzer Prize judges love about McDermottt's stories of Irish-Catholic American life is back. (starred review)

Kirkus Reviews

20. September 2017, Review
Like Alice Munro, McDermott is profoundly observant and mischievously witty, a sensitive and consummate illuminator of the realization of the self, the ravages of illness and loss, and the radiance of generosity. (starred review)


20. September 2017, Award News
Finalist for the Kirkus Prize 2017


20. September 2017, Review
Superb and masterful .There are so many ways to read this beautiful novel: as a Greek tragedy with its narrative chorus and the sins of the fathers; as a Faulknerian tale out to prove once more that the “past is not even past”; as a gothic tale wrestling

The Washington Post

17. October 2017, Movie/TV/Drama
Scott Rudin Productions has acquired The Ninth Hour, the novel by National Book Award-winning author Alice McDermott. Rudin and Eli Bush will produce the film.


17. October 2017, Review
The Ninth Hour, Alice McDermott's superb and masterful new novel, begins with a suicide and culminates in murder. The book's real thrills, though, are in the feats of its storytelling.


17. October 2017, Review
God is definitely in the details of this book...The Ninth Hour is also about love, both forbidden and sanctioned, albeit with the caveat that 'Love's a tonic...not a cure.' This enveloping novel, too, is a tonic, if not a cure.


17. October 2017, Review
Vivid and arresting... Marvelously evocative.

The New York Times Book Review

17. October 2017, Noteworthy
The New York Times featured the book as the Editors Choice on the NYT Best Seller list for the week of October 15th.


11. December 2017, Noteworthy
BEST OF 2017 lists: New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books of 2017 • The Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of Fiction 2017 • The Wall Street Journal's Top 10 Novels of 2017 • Time Magazine's Top 10 Novels of 2017 • NPR's Best Books of 2017 • Kir


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