By Emily Morris
Alice McDermott, center, holding the microphone. 

Alice McDermott, center, holding the microphone. 

Alice McDermott's upcoming novel Someone  has a plain-spoken title for a reason. 

It's the most vanilla title, there's no charm to it....and yet, reading the novel with the title in mind, it's almost as if every time "someone," which is a word we use all the time, appears, it appears in italics. And I liked that. So, it's a terrible title until you actually read the book, and then it's sort of fun!

But you've got to be there. You have to see it working in and out of the different sentences, and what happens to it-- I would have lost that for a loftier title. In some ways this is a simple and sort of fragile book; it's a single life. And--I'm going to say it--an ordinary life. Anything more literary, or more packed with meaning would have imploded the story.
It's not so much a matter of being plainspoken, but it's more understanding your own approach to trying to decipher what this human life of ours is all about. And mine is the simplest way possible.