Mary Glickman is the author of four novels, Home in the Morning, National Jewish Book Awards Finalist in Fiction’s One More River, Marching to Zion, and An Undisturbed Peace, listed by Southern Living as a best novel of 2016. Her historical fiction has been enjoyed by national audiences and are on the Recommended for Great Group Reads of the Women’s National Book Association for whom she has presented her work on numerous occasions.
Her blogs have appeared in the Huffington Post, Medium.com, and the Jewish Book Council’s Prosen People. She was honored by a request to provide an essay on Southern Jewish Literature by the Jewish Book Club for the inaugural issue of its annual literary journal, The Paper Brigade. She has appeared on both television and radio promoting her work. Her print interviews have been featured in Charleston, SC’s Post and Courier, Charleston City Paper, and Southern Jewish Life among other outlets.
Born on the south shore of Boston, Mary was raised in a strict Irish-Polish Catholic family. From an early age, she was fascinated by faith. Though she attended Catholic school and as a child wanted to become a nun, her attention eventually turned to the Old Testament and she began what would become a lifelong relationship with Jewish culture. “Joseph Campbell wrote that religion is the poetry that speaks to a man’s soul,” Mary has said, “and Judaism was my soul’s symphony.”
In her twenties, Mary traveled in Europe and explored her passion for writing, composing short stories and poetry. Returning to the United States, she met her future husband, Stephen, a lawyer, and with his encouragement began to consider writing as a career. She enrolled in the Masters in Creative Writing program at Boston University, under the poet George Starbuck, who encouraged her to focus on fiction writing. While taking an MFA seminar with the late Ivan Gold, Mary completed her first novel, Drones, which received a finalist award from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities but was never published. Five more unpublished novels followed.
Mary also began a career as a freelance writer working with nonprofit organizations on projects such as fund-raising campaigns for the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and United Jewish Appeal. She and Stephen married in 1978. Mary made a full conversion to Judaism and later worked as treasurer/secretary for her synagogue.
Her love for all things Southern arose from a sabbatical year. In 1987, Mary and Stephen first traveled to the south of Spain, living in an Andalusian fishing village called La Cala. After seven months abroad and, hoping to extend their time away, they sought a warm—and more affordable—locale. The romance of Charleston, South Carolina, its Spanish moss, antebellum architecture, and rich cultural life beckoned.
Settling into a rented house on Seabrook Island, Mary fell in love with the people, language, and rural beauty of her new home. Following a lifelong desire to ride horses, she took a position mucking stalls at the local equestrian center and embraced riding, finding her match in an Appaloosa named King of Harts. After a year, the sabbatical ended and the couple returned to life in Boston, but the passion for Southern culture remained with them. A few short months after they returned to Boston, Hurricane Hugo struck their beloved Charleston. That ornery Appaloosa, King of Harts, was suddenly for sale. Mary managed to acquire him and thus began a different kind of life-long love affair. Mary, Stephen, their two cats and King of Harts were able to return permanently to South Carolina in 2008.
Mary’s best friend, King of Harts, passed away at age 35 in 2013 and there is now a different set of cats in the Glickman household. But life goes on. Mary and Stephen are grateful their lives have taken them to a South that has inspired her novels and given her a unique, evocative voice.