Richard McCann's Elegy to a 'Mother of Sorrows' Richard McCann's autobiographical novel Mother of Sorrows took 20 years to complete. The author tells Jacki Lyden how the book came to be.

Richard McCann's Elegy to a 'Mother of Sorrows'

Richard McCann's Elegy to a 'Mother of Sorrows'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4769070/4769095" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Richard McCann Sigrid Estrada hide caption

toggle caption
Sigrid Estrada

It's a novel hovering on the edge of autobiography, yet the main character has no name. It's an elegy to a mother in white gloves and a time when innocence was still possible.

The book is Mother of Sorrows, by Richard McCann. Completed after 20 years, it was greeted this spring with critical acclaim. McCann, co-director of the Creative Writing Program at American University in Washington, D.C., tells Jacki Lyden the story, and reads selected passages.

Web Resources