A Bigamist's Daughter A Novel

Alice McDermott




Trade Paperback

304 Pages



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Elizabeth Connelly, editor at a New York vanity press, sells the dream of publication (admittedly, to writers of questionable talent). Stories of true emotional depth rarely cross her desk. But when a young writer named Tupper Daniels walks in, bearing an unfinished novel, Elizabeth is drawn to both the novelist and his story—a lyrical tale about a man in love with more than one woman at once. Tupper’s manuscript unlocks memories of her own secretive father, who himself may have been a bigamist. As Elizabeth and Tupper search for the perfect dénouement, their affair, too, approaches a most unexpected and poignant coda.


Praise for A Bigamist's Daughter

"Impressive . . . A fascinatingly prismatic story."—Anne Tyler, The New York Times Book Review

"A beautifully written [novel] . . . [Alice McDermott is] an Irish-American Anne Tyler."—The Washington Post

"One of our finest novelists at work today."—Los Angeles Times

"In the fiction of Alice McDermott, the heart is found in the quiet touch"—The Boston Globe

"McDermott is an enormously skilled and assured writer who transforms the ordinary into something magical." —The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

"Splendid . . . this is nothing less than a brilliant first novel."—The Virginia Quarterly Review

"Alice McDermott's novels are like family albums, each scene hazy with the yellow light of history, nostalgic as faded Polaroids."—The San Francisco Examiner

"McDermott balances a poignant romanticism with sharp realism in her own crisp and careful writing style."—Ms.

"There’s no one like Alice McDermott . . . her touch is light as a feather, her perceptions purely accurate."—Elle

"McDermott has fashioned a tale that sounds, for a change, like truth. A Bigamist's Daughter is rare among recent books about sharp-witted unattached women because it doesn't succumb to the fancies that growth is everyone's birthright, and true love is still the best of everything"—The Village Voice

"A masterly and admirable first novel . . . A Bigamist’s Daughter sparkles with crisp language and fine, precise writing . . . A richly detailed story."—The Kansas City Star

"Engaging . . . She captures the nuance of memory and uses it to illustrate a lifetime She captures the world of the vanity press and uses it as a parallel to show how we are all dealing in dreams as we search for happy endings."—Indianapolis News

"Always enjoyable and at times brilliant . . . McDermott weaves together the strands of her novel to produce a startling, compelling statement about self-deception and relationships between men and women"—The Hartford Courant

"Funny and fresh and poignant McDermott bares her own soul as she bares Elizabeth's."—The Pensacola News Journal

"Riotously funny, poignant, shrewd . . . acutely real. Elizabeth Connelly is . . . a new kind of female character. As unique as she is representative, as tough as she is needy, this bigamist's daughter confronts us with the eighties."—Julia Markus, author of Uncle

"A work of surpassing craftsmanship, high seriousness, and . . . great wisdom and humor. It's a wonderful read."—John Yount, author of Hardcastle

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

SHE IS ALMOST BEGINNING to believe him.He's been here for nearly twenty minutes now, sitting across from her on the edge of his seat, his forearms resting on her desk, his hands folded before him, the right hand covering the left, the left a fist that he occasionally taps, ever so lightly, upon the gray steel to give his voice emphasis. His voice is Southern, slow, but with a rising quality that makes her feel it's being rushed from behind, that something is pushing him to get the story told faster, to get it finished. Perhaps it is only her slow, habitual glances at the clock on the edge
Read the full excerpt


  • Alice McDermott

  • Alice McDermott is the author of five previous novels, including Child of My Heart; Charming Billy, winner of the 1998 National Book Award; and At Weddings and Wakes. She lives with her family outside Washington, DC.
  • Alice McDermott Epic Photography/Jamie Schoenberger




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