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Mary Morris 

Fun Fact

Mary Morris is a third cousin of another Sweet Home Cook County author, famed short story writer Amy Hempel. 
Mary Morris 
Writer 
Born: 5/14/1947 
Location: Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago 
Hometown: Chicago 
Grammar School:  
High School: Highland Park High School 
   
Mary Morris, the international travel writer and novelist, was born in Chicago and lived there as a small child. She moved east to attend college, never returning to live in Illinois. However, much of her writing demonstrates an affinity for the Midwest. Mary’s first story collection, “Vanishing Animals & Other Stories” won the Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters. Her three memoirs of traveling across China, Russia, Mexico and California (“Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone,” “Wall to Wall: from Beijing to Berlin by Rail,” and “Angels & Aliens: A Journey West”) then followed.  Mary has penned many successful novels as well as innovative fiction online—including a story embedded in a crossword puzzle. She turned a voyage down the Mississippi River in a houseboat with two river pilots named Tom and Jerry into a hilarious and critically-acclaimed travel narrative, “The River Queen.” Morris teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, where she has mentored many accomplished writers.