Jan Maher is currently a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Ethics in Public Life, State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She lives with husband and fellow writer/educator Douglas Selwyn in Greenfield, MA Maher was born in Huntington, Indiana, grew up in Fort Wayne, and also lived in La Porte before leaving the Hoosier State to attend Shimer College in Illinois. She received her B.A. in Humanities from the New School for Social Research, where she also studied acting with Joseph Chaikin and members of The Open Theater. She earned an M.A. in Literature from Millersville University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies: Theater, Education, and Neuroscience from the Union Institute.
Maher is the author of several plays, including Intruders, winner of Best of Fest honors at the New City Theater Playwrights Festival, Widow's Walk, which earned finalist status in the Actors Theater of Louisville Ten Minute Play Contest, Ismene and The Next County Over. She is co-author of Most Dangerous Women, a musical documentary of the international women's peace movement and of Most Dangerous Women: Bringing History to Life through Readers' Theater. Her poems have been published in Bellowing Ark and Lancaster Independent Press. Her novels are Heaven, Indiana, published by Dog Hollow Press and Earth As It Is (Feb 2017) by Break Away Books, Indiana University Press.
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An interview with Jan Maher; first published in The Huntington Herald-Press
A chance meeting at a carnival in Huntington 45 years ago is inspiration
for Jan Maher's first novel, "Heaven, Indiana." Maher, who lives in
Seattle, spent her first seven years in Huntington, where she was born.
"A main theme of the book is the way in which social and political interaction affects us," Maher said during a telephone interview from Heritage College in Seattle. She teaches educational methods, curriculum and learning theory there and has written several plays, essays, and poetry. Maher, 54, lived at the Huntington home of her maternal grandmother, Louise Miller, from 1946 through 1952. The house was at 652 E. Market St. Jan Maher's father, James Maher Jr., grew up in Marion, but moved to Huntington after marrying Alberta Ruth Miller. Ruth Miller-Lang now lives in Chicago. James Maher Jr. died in 1971 in Cincinnati.
While Maher bases "Heaven, Indiana" on her meeting with the daughter of a worker at a carnival that had made a stop at Hier's Park she said that incident is the only thing autobiographical. "It's very hard to quantify a work of fiction," the author said. "Fiction is a ...
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