Marylee MacDonald

Award-winning author and writing coach

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I'm a literary writer, which means that I care about the shape of sentences as much as I care about plot and character. My stories have won the Barry Hannah Prize, the Matt Clark Prize, the Ron Rash Award, the American Literary Review Fiction Prize, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Fiction, the Jeanne M. Leiby Chapbook Award, and many others. Here is a sample of my work.

Bonds of Love & Blood
When a story appears in a literary magazine and even when it wins a prize (as most of the stories in this collection have done), the story is still not easy for most folks to find. When friends asked where they could read what I've written, I hemmed and hawed. Finding back issues of literary magazines isn't easy. That's why I'm so thrilled to have a dozen of my best stories in BONDS OF LOVE & BLOOD.

One Friday Night In Baltimore
The Baltimore police arrest Terrell for a crime he didn't commit, and the African-American college graduate spends the weekend in jail, only to learn that his friends don't really get why he's bummed.

The Rug Bazaar
The Rug Bazaar features two American women travelers. Each discovers the pleasures and dangers of liaisons with Turkish men. "A duet of stories that flies in the face of anything you'd think a love story could be...Much of the beauty of The Rug Bazaar is to be found in the way one story complements another."--David James Poissant, judge of the Jeanne M. Leiby Chapbook Contest

Montpelier Tomorrow
Mid-life mom, Colleen Gallagher, would do anything to protect her children from harm. When her daughter's husband falls ill with ALS, Colleen rolls up her sleeves and moves in, juggling the multiple roles of grandma, cook, and caregiver, only to discover that even her superhuman efforts can't fix what's wrong.

The Price We Paid
River Oak Review, Fall 1994.
To spare her mother the embarrassment of having a child born "out of wedlock," this honor student signed away all rights to the son she longed to raise.

The Ugly Duckling, Chinese Babies, and Me
Selected for a TELLING OUR STORIES PRESS anthology, edited by CoCo Harris, this adoption essay makes links between identity, writing, and adoption. The anthology has a wealth of wonderful short memoirs and personal essays.

Notes for a New Millennium
Written immediately after 9/11, this essay asks hard questions about America's collective fear and hubris.

The Quiet Indoor Revolution
Co-authored with Seichi Konzo, this is a book about the history of indoor comfort--heating and cooling in the United States. Konzo, a professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, was a mechanical engineer who made the transition from coal-heating to heating with natural gas. He was a pioneer in the development of air conditioning.

Selected Works

Prize-winning short stories for arm-chair travelers and readers willing to explore the intricacies of the human heart. For more about the book, click the title.
A wrongful arrest and a weekend in jail are a wake-up call for an African-American man who thought his education protected him from police brutality.
The Rug Bazaar features two unconventional love stories. Winner of the Jeanne M. Leiby Memorial Chapbook Contest.
A novel about a mid-life mom who would do anything to protect her children from harm.
The true story of a fifteen-old girl's journey to motherhood.
A short personal essay about identity, writing, and adoption.
What does the world think about America in the aftermath of 9/11?