June 20, 2011

Guest Author Mary Tabor

The name may seem a bit familiar to you.  Approximately a month ago, Mary was my guest for Sunday's Shining Star and I had the pleasure of introducing and showcasing her as a blogger.  Today I am even more excited, because this time I am welcoming her back to the CMash blog as a Guest Author!!!  So I sincerely ask, to help welcome Mary Tabor back today!!
welcome back

Author photo © Kevin Allen. Kevin Allen Photography

Mary L. Tabor—author, mother, grandmother—graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Maryland with a BA in English (’66), from Oberlin College with an MAT in English and Education (’67), from Ohio State University with an MFA in Creative Writing (’99). She went back to college for that last degree the year she turned 50 after a 16-year career in corporate America, a senior executive, director of public affairs writing for the oil industry’s trade association, landing her in both Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women. Mary published her first book of fiction The Woman Who Never Cooked at age 60.

Mary adores her children: a daughter-philosopher Sarah Hammerschlag, who is a professor at Williams College, and is married to the philosopher (yes, the two philosophers married each other) Ryan Coyne, who is a professor at the University of Chicago; her son-wine importer Ben Hammerschlag, who has appeared in Food and Wine’s Best Under Forty among other worldwide recognitions for his work; her stepson-military attaché Chris Persinger, who is currently on assignment in Iraq, and his wife Jess, who has the honorable-and-today-rare title of Stay-at-Home-Mom. Mary has three grandchildren: Jericho Persinger and Madisson Lorimar, the precious progeny of Chris and Jess, and Lila Anastasia Coyne who arrived in the love of Sarah Hammerschlag and Ryan Coyne on April 28, 2009.

She couldn’t have taken the risks she took without the love of these incredible people in her life.

The love of her life will always be Del Persinger: The complex story of their marriage and separation is the stuff of her memoir: (Re)Making Love: a sex after sixty story. The memoir, a story of the good, the bad and the foolish after Del said, oh, so Greta Garbo, “I need to live alone” pulls no punches. Mary tells the story of her four-year separation from Del, her Internet dating, the sex, the falling in and out of “love,” and the redemption of her marriage against all odds. She rediscovered life, sex and love after sixty. Join her on the journey that unfolds in this story she wrote “live” as a blog while she lived it and ultimately discovered the meaning of commitment—with all its difficulties and joys.

Mary and her husband live downtown in the bustling Penn Quarter of Washington, DC where they recently renovated two adjoining condos.
You can visit Mary at the following sites:

(Re)Making Love: a sex after sixty story is one of those stories you just couldn’t make up. This memoir, the second book by Mary L. Tabor, transports the reader in a most unusual way through a remarkable journey of redemption after a 21-­‐year marriage crashes and burns when her husband “D.” announces, so Greta Garbo, “I need to live alone.” She craters, then embarks on a relentless dash through the hazards of Internet dating, the loving, the illusions, and through it all a hard look at herself—her foibles, whimsy, desolations, indomitable hope when all was hopeless, and ultimate self-­‐discovery. The origin of the writing as a live blog is apparent in a book that is, as Marly Swick has said, “uniquely beautiful and moving in both its form and its content.” This deeply personal memoir is shared wholeheartedly with brutal honesty and incredible intimacy.

A series of men appear—all identified as a lower-­‐case first initial—while the upper-­‐case D. weaves out and in, as both he and Mary maneuver through the separation. Along the way are the Internet dates, emails, T.S. Eliot and Nietzsche, romantic comedies and the Grimm Brothers, photographs, recipes, dreams, Obamas, and yes, even the kitchen sink. Her journey moves from her home in Washington, DC to Missouri to Australia and eventually to Paris, a visit that offers a stunning surprise that changes her life. As Randall Brown says, “In this extraordinary memoir’s jigsaw pieces, Mary has found a way to translate the desire to be found into her own modern fairy tale.”

This is a story for everyone, with laugh-­‐out-­‐loud humor, pain, despair, desire and understanding told in free flowing beautiful prose. To read her book is to feel as if one has, as described in a Flash Fiction review: “sat with Mary in the ‘chef’s kitchen’ she so often references, strolled the streets of Paris along side her, cried with her over the inability to cram a lifetime of memories into a storage-­‐lacking flat, or pondered right along with her about unfulfilled desire. Her honesty is refreshing, witty and full of intimate wisdom. There are lessons for all of us.”

The universal appeal of this raw, unfiltered, wise book is best expressed by publisher Kelly Abbott: “As the title of her book would suggest, she’s older than we are, but challenges us in her youthful understanding of the world. And by youthful, I don’t mean naive. I mean unblemished. I mean optimistic. I mean joyful and carefree and without pretense or fear. Mary is a breath of fresh air.”

Book available at:
Barnes and Noble here



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Wendy said...

As someone who values teachers in this era of teacher-bashing, I would just like to mention that Mary was also a high school English teacher before she joined the corporate world. In fact she was MY high school English teacher, and I have never forgotten her wonderful classes. Her teachings continue on her blog.