Mary McGarry Morris

Franklin Library Mary McGarry Morris books

A Dangerous Woman - signed first edition - 1991


Author Mary McGarry Morris

Mary McGarry Morris is a prolific and acclaimed American author known for her poignant and deeply human narratives that explore the complexities of human relationships, resilience, and the struggle for identity in the face of adversity. Born on February 3, 1943, in Meriden, Connecticut, Morris grew up with a passion for storytelling, which would later blossom into a successful writing career. Despite her early aspirations to become a writer, Morris initially pursued a career in teaching, earning a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Connecticut and later a master's degree in education from Tufts University. However, her love for literature never waned, and she continued to hone her craft in her spare time, writing stories and immersing herself in the works of literary giants who would later influence her own writing.

It wasn't until later in life that Morris decided to pursue writing full-time, a decision that would ultimately lead to the publication of her debut novel, Vanished, in 1988. The novel, which tells the story of a young boy who goes missing and the devastating impact it has on his family, received widespread critical acclaim and marked the beginning of Morris's career as a novelist. Following the success of Vanished, Morris went on to publish a string of critically acclaimed novels, including A Dangerous Woman (1991), Songs in Ordinary Time (1995), and The Lost Mother (2005). Her works are characterized by their keen psychological insight, richly drawn characters, and powerful storytelling, which delve into the complexities of human nature with honesty and empathy.

Among Morris's most celebrated works is Songs in Ordinary Time, which was selected as an Oprah's Book Club pick in 1997 and later adapted into a television movie starring Sissy Spacek. The novel, set in a small Vermont town in the 1960s, explores themes of poverty, family dysfunction, and the search for redemption, capturing the struggles and triumphs of its characters with raw authenticity.

Throughout her career, Morris has garnered numerous accolades and awards for her contributions to literature, including the Whiting Award, the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award, and the Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her novels have resonated with readers around the world, earning her a devoted following and solidifying her reputation as one of America's most compelling storytellers. In addition to her novels, Morris has also published short stories and essays in various literary journals and magazines, further showcasing her versatility as a writer. Today, she continues to write from her home in Andover, Massachusetts, where she remains dedicated to crafting stories that illuminate the human experience with depth, compassion, and grace.


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