You guys, Alice McDermott is so great. Her seventh novel, Someone, has just been published, and it’s already been announced as a nominee for the 2013 National Book Award. Which is a big deal, though it’s probably somewhat familiar to McDermott; her first novel, That Night, was a finalist back in 1987, and Charming Billy won the award in 1988.

Along with tackling her own writing, McDermott teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins– and, okay, full disclosure, she was my professor back in the day, but I would praise her this much regardless.

Someone is the story of “an ordinary life, as captured in scattered recollections,” as a New York Times reviewer noted in a (rave) review. In the NBA longlist, McDermott is up against some heavy hitters, including Jhumpa Lahiri, Thomas Pynchon, George Saunders, and Rachel Kushner. But, in case anyone asks, she’s definitely got my vote.