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National Book Festival Presents Alice McDermott

Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 7:00pm
Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20540

This event is free and open to the public, however tickets are required for entry. Register here and reserve your copy of the book.

Please join us for an evening celebrating Irish American Women, with Alice McDermott, Margaret Brennan, and Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon.

The kickoff event in the Library’s National Book Festival Presents Spring 2020 series, “Fearless: A Tribute to Irish American Women,” celebrates the powerful role of history and tradition among generations of Irish American women, with three pillars in the fields of literature, media, and politics: Alice McDermottMargaret Brennan, and Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon. The Library is pleased to co-sponsor this event with the Embassy of Ireland in the United States in the Library’s historic Thomas Jefferson building, in honor of St. Brigid’s Day (Feb. 1).

Alice McDermott’s critically acclaimed eighth novel, The Ninth Hour, was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2017 Kirkus Prize for Fiction. Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, NPR and others named the novel among the top works of fiction in 2017. Her seventh novel, Someone, was a New York Times bestseller, a finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Patterson Prize for Fiction and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her novel Charming Billy won the National Book Award for fiction in 1998 and was a finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award. In 2013 she was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame.

Margaret Brennan is moderator of CBS News’ “Face the Nation” and the network’s senior foreign affairs correspondent based in Washington. Brennan has reported on politics, international affairs, and global markets since 2002. She joined CBS News in 2012 and was named White House and senior foreign affairs correspondent in 2017.

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon is an education and human rights advocate representing Pennsylvania’s Fifth District. She was first sworn in on Nov. 13, 2018. Previously, Scanlon served as national pro bono counsel at a major U.S. law firm where she directed more than 600 lawyers, providing more than 15,000 hours annually to low-income and nonprofit clients. She currently serves as vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee, as well as on the Rules Committee and the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. She is also a member of the Library of Congress Caucus.

To join the signing line for this event and meet Alice McDermott, attendees must purchase a copy of her latest book, The Ninth Hour, when registering for a ticket or onsite at the event. Other Alice McDermott books will be available for purchase at the event. No memorabilia or books from home will be signed.

The event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required for entry. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. A ticket does not guarantee entry into the event.

Building doors open at 5:30pm. Auditorium doors open at 6:00pm. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of house management. We recommend arriving when building doors open to secure a seat.

Arrive early! Ticketholders will be invited to view a display of items from the Library’s extensive collections, including pieces directly referenced in “Fearless: A Tribute to Irish American Women.” The display will be available for viewing from 5:30pm to 7:00pm on the night of the program. Ticketholders will also have exclusive, after-hours access to the Library’s exhibit “Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote” from 5:30pm to 7:00pm on the night of the program.

Please request ADA accommodations at least 5 days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or

Make your gift to support the Library’s free literary programs: DONATE.

East City Bookshop is proud to be the official bookseller for this event.

In the event of inclement weather, publicized events are subject to delay and/or cancelation. Patrons will be notified of any alterations to posted event times in advance of the event.

The Ninth Hour: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250192745
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - September 4th, 2018