Jan Maher

Fiction and plays about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people

Comments & Questions

I love to hear from readers. Please leave me a comment!

An unsolicited, heartwarming testimonial

Montreal, April 15th, 2017 Dear Jan,
This email is long overdue as I had read Heaven Indiana over a year ago! And then received Earth As It Is last fall, so beautifully inscribed. From the moment I read the first lines of both novels, I was captivated by your storytelling. What is most compelling is the depth of your characters, their situations, and the varying times, poignantly portrayed through your brave and honest words. The tenderness you unravel is breath-taking from Melinda’s birthing roar to Charlie’s brutal revelation, the reader begins a journey that reaches to the very core of humanity and relationships. The universal themes remarkably intertwine with the domestic, but are never lost. Particularly with Earth As It Is. We are sadly living in a regressive, escalating xenophobic time and your novel masterfully exposes all of its disease by simply giving us the opportunity to live in the skin of the “other”.
I am so moved by your writing Jan and hope one day to have the opportunity to meet you in person. Vera has often spoken very highly of you and having read your work, I am certainly doing the same!
Thank you for your kind words to me inside the cover of Earth As It Is. I can’t wait for your next novel! Warmest wishes to you,

Clare Schapiro

Thank you, Clare! Letters such as yours are so affirming and energizing.

I guess I'd better get back to that work-in-progress!

Selected Works

Charlie/Charlene Bader is a heterosexual cross-dresser who struggles through the humiliating break-up of a marriage, migrates to Chicago during the Depression where s/he discovers a supportive community of cross-dressers, serves as a dentist in World War II, and ultimately ends up in a small town in Indiana, living as a woman and working as a hairdresser. Her life becomes complicated when she realizes she has fallen in love with a customer who does not know of her male identity. "Transportive" - Publishers Weekly "Deserves a place on library shelves." - Booklist
One hot week in August 1954, in Heaven, Indiana, a baby is delivered twice: once in a barn by her grandfather, the second time to the tent door of a carnival fortune-teller by her grandmother Helen... "Once I started reading Heaven I couldn't stop reading and thinking about it…Maher's work is…richly evocative, both rooted and visionary." - Susan Koppelman "This little bit of Heaven…leaves us wanting more." - Wendy Fawthrop, Seattle Union Record
"The woman he is looking for now is the one who can call him Bob, or even Baby, without offending him. Where is she? He opens the refrigerator. Not in there. He closes the refrigerator. It’s the refrigerator they bought the day that plane blew up over Scotland. That was on the news when we brought it in and…there’s something else he is trying to remember." - See more at: http://www.persimmontree.org/v2/fall-2010/turn-turn-turn/#sthash.F1ECMbi5.dpuf
"An extraordinary assemblage of women speak about war and peace. They speak in clear and compelling language, often with song and poetry, and what they tell their audience both educates and inspires. If Most Dangerous Women were performed in schools across the country, we might well see a new generation of young people dedicated to ending the scourge of war." - Howard Zinn, Author of A People's History of the United States
MYRNA: I'll admit the knife seems real. But many dreams have a quality of intense reality about them. INTRUDER: So how do you know whether you're alone dreaming I'm holding a knife to your throat or whether I'm holding a knife to your throat while you dream of the possibility of being alone? MYRNA: The old butterfly/man dilemma. INTRUDER: The very one. MYRNA: What if we are both alone dreaming each other?

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