|Photo by Kevin Allen, Kevin Allen Photography|
Mary adores her children: a daughter-philosopher Sarah Hammerschlag, who is a professor at the University of Chicago, 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 Afghanistan, 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 in 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 Memoir. 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.
Her novel Who by Fire: a novel, as Lee Martin, author of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Bright Forever, in his review explains "is a lyric meditation on love and desire, one that will catch you up in the blaze of its eroticism, its tender evocation of love and the passions and accommodations of a life lived through the flesh and through the imagination. Can memory lead to forgiveness? Who by Fire explores that question in a story I won’t soon forget. The beauty of the prose, the nuances of the characters, the ever-building plot—everything is in place for a novel that will touch you in all the right ways."
Mary and her husband live Hyde Park, Chicago.