ALICE MCDERMOTT is a rare writer, the sort who keeps her work focused on one type of person (Irish Catholics) in one setting (Long Island), and never tell the same story twice. Her latest, After This, is a Vietnam novel full of the political and social chaos of the ’60s and ’70s as well as the tumultuous inner turmoil surrounding the six members of the Keane family. McDermott boils their history down into a poetic epic; she’ll read tomorrow at the Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 6 pm | free | 800.542.READ.
The novelist Kiran Desai won the 2006 Man Booker Prize on Tuesday for The Inheritance of Loss, which examines identity and the bonds of family, and is set in both India and Manhattan. Desai is the youngest female winner at 35, and the only one whose mom (Anita Desai) has also been nominated. The Guardian UK has got all the dirt, of course. There's also a sweet contest in which you can win every Booker novel in print. Live it up.