Mary Morris was born in Chicago, the city of Al Capone. She was raised on her father’s tales of gangsters and bootleg gin, speakeasies and tommy guns. She’s touched the bullet holes in the facade of Holy Name Cathedral. Crime has long held a warm spot in her heart. She spends her time pondering what one human being is capable of doing to another. Or to himself. For her, as Wes Craven once said, the real monsters are inside of us. Even in her more traditional stories Morris is plumbing the dark places of the soul. In short stories such as “The Cross Word” and “Birds of Africa” or her novel, Revenge, Morris delves into the worlds of deception and vengeance; in others such as The Night Sky she explores what it means in a person’s life when someone disappears.
Morris has just completed a novel based on the only female school shooter in American history and is at work on another novel, set in Chicago during the jazz age, in which Al Capone dances with one of her characters. Capone was, reportedly, an excellent dancer. She is the author of numerous books, including six novels, three story collections, and four travel memoirs. Her stories have been published in such places as Narrative, the Paris Review, and Ploughshares, and her books have been translated into many languages. A recipient of the Rome Prize, Morris teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College.
The River Queen (2007)
The Night Sky (1993)