Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mary Morris

Mary Morris's hilarious and critically-acclaimed travel memoir, THE RIVER QUEEN, moves between the outer landscape of the Mississippi River and the inner landscape of Morris' sense of loss over the death of her father. Previously, Morris published the riveting novel Revenge (PicadorUSA, 2005), a psychologically complex story of female friendship, art and obsession. Her fifth novel, Acts of God, the story of a girl whose father, an insurance claims adjuster, led a duplicitous life, was published in September 2000 by PicadorUSA. Born in Chicago in l947, Morris moved East to go to college. Though she never returned to the Middle West, she often writes about the region and its tug. In her first collection of short stories, Vanishing Animals & Other Stories, awarded the Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters, Morris writes about childhood and adolescent memories. Morris's stories often deal with the tension between home and away. Travel is an important theme in many of the stories in her three collections, including Vanishing Animals, The Bus of Dreams, and The Lifeguard Stories. It is also a recurrent theme in her trilogy of travel memoirs, including the acclaimed Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone, Wall to Wall: from Beijing to Berlin by Rail, and Angels & Aliens: A Journey West. In her five novels, including The Waiting Room, The Night Sky (formerly published as A Mother's Love) and House Arrest, Morris writes of family, its difficulties and disappointments, its iron grip and necessity, and ultimately the comfort family can bring. Her many novels and story collections have been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Swedish and Japanese. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and daughter and teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

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