About Mary

Born June 2 1943 as Mary Gaffney in New London, Connecticut, where my mother and two-year-old brother, Matt, had followed my father, who had enlisted in the Navy at the start of World War II. I remember nothing of World War II, except being taunted by Matt for not having been taken to see our father's ship, as he had. But this must have been later.

After the war, we moved to LeRoy New York, where my father was superintendent of the public schools and my sisters, Kathleen and Margaret, twins, were born. Later we moved to Tarrytown New York. I graduated from Sleepy Hollow High School in 1961. I attended William Smith College in Geneva, New York, and graduated from Barnard College in 1965. Michael Tannen and I married in 1965 and I took a job as a "Girl Friday" at Men's Wear Magazine. Eventually I worked as a copy writer for Avon Products until we left New York for Los Angeles in 1969 so Michael could set up a West Coast branch for his law firm, Orenstein, Arrow, Laurie, and Silverman. Our daughter, Catherine, was born in 1970. We moved back to New York City a year later and our son, Noah, was born in 1973.

These children have married and moved on to Chicago and Seattle and have three children between them. Michael and I have lived in the same apartment since 1976. I have gone from writing childrens' books, to adult novels, to magazine articles to plays. I sit on no boards and attend no meetings, aside from my environmental book club monthly meetings, which are more like gatherings. I like to bike, hike, swim, bird, prowl the galleries and museums, go to plays, opera, movies, dance, and other performances. Michael and I travel -- often to see the grandchildren, who are growing up at a much faster rate than our own children did.