Mary Ann Shaffer was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in
1934. Her career included libraries, bookstores, and publishing, but her
life-long dream was to "write a book that someone would like enough to publish."
Though she did not live to see it, this dream has been realized in The
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
She became interested in Guernsey while visiting London in 1980. On a whim, she decided to fly to Guernsey but became stranded there when a thick fog descended and all boats and planes were forbidden to leave the island. As she waited for the fog to lift, warming herself by the heat of the hand-dryer in the men's restroom, she read all the books in the Guernsey airport bookstore, including Jersey under the Jack-Boot. Thus began her fascination with the German Occupation of the Channel Islands.
Many years later, when goaded by her book club to write a novel, Shaffer naturally thought of Guernsey. She chose to write in the epistolary form because, "for some bizarre reason, I thought it would be easier." Several years of work yielded The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which was greeted with avid enthusiasm, first by her family, then by her writing group, and finally by publishers around the world.
Sadly, Shaffer's health began to decline shortly thereafter, and she asked her niece, Annie Barrows (author of the Ivy and Bean series for children, as well as The Magic Half), to help her finish the book. Shaffer died in February 2008, knowing that her novel was to be published in English and in translation in many languages throughout the world.
This biography was last updated on 01/14/2014.
A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
The Angel of Losses
"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.