Smith swears by her MacIntosh and, with the success of LOVE HER
MADLY and AN AMERICAN KILLING now writes at a desk that overlooks
the Atlantic ocean.
"My parents were from huge immigrant families. I was always surrounded by cousins. My Italian grandfather told me water was to bathe in, not drink, and that I should drink wine or I’d be white like the sink.
My French grandfather took me fishing and crabbing, all-day affairs which would last from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. -- the weather would always be hot and humid, but he’d remain dressed in his suit, shirt, vest and cap, and I would always strip down to my underpants.
From the time I was very young, my father would take me with him to downtown Hartford, park me in the bookstore and go off and chat with friends and strangers and the local bookie knowing I’d be safe with books.
Except for those happy Saturdays my life revolved around my brother who was autistic -- a savant who thought he was Montgomery and who called me Captain Fury. We re-enacted all the battles of World War II on a daily basis.
After graduating from college in 1965, I joined the Peace Corps and served two years in Buea, West Cameroon, where I organized -- what else? -- a public library, and had a lot of fun with Cameroonians; German, Dutch and British volunteers; British ex-patriots; two Germans who ran the hotel in Victoria and a Dane who ran the hotel in Buea. A large chunk of my heart remains in that little African town halfway up the side of Mount Cameroon, which rises like Napolean’s hat from the equatorial sea. Lucky me.
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith