Skip to main content


Alice McDermott, author of The Ninth Hour

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 and to his badgering, pregnant wife --- that “the hours of his life belonged to himself alone.” In the aftermath of the fire that follows, Sister St. Saviour appears, unbidden, to direct the way forward for his widow and his unborn child.