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A Bad Place To Start

Spending: A Utopian Divertimento 1


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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Mary Gordon (1949 - )

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username February 23rd, 2018 01:06 AM PST

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Mary Catherine Gordon has no memory of not wanting to be a writer--even when she wanted to be a nun. She was born in 1949 in Far Rockaway, New York. It was a miraculous birth, thought impossible because her mother, Anna Gagliano Gordon, was a polio victim with limited function of her lower body and was furthermore having her first child at the age of 41. Mary Kate, as the future author was then called (against her will), was an only child raised in a tightly-knit Catholic home. Her mother, who was always known as Anne, was the family breadwinner, working as a legal secretary. Mary's father, David Gordon, adored his family and radiated charm, but never radiated much cash. He worshipped intellect and religion, and cherished a dream of being a writer. The young Mary Kate adopted the same dream for herself; in the early years she wanted to be a contemplative nun. David had secrets, however. He had converted from Judaism as a young man and reinvented his identity. Mary would not discover just how much of his life story was invented until long after his death from heart failure in 1957. The loss of her father so early in her life was the most important event of Mary's youth, and she would later channel her grief into many works of fiction, and finally into her memoir, The Shadow Man: A Daughter's Search for her Father.

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