Jan Maher biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Jan Maher

Jan Maher

Jan Maher Biography

Jan Maher's writing credits include two novels, Heaven, Indiana and Earth As It Is; one-act plays Ismene and Intruders; Most Dangerous Women; and books for educators Most Dangerous Women: Bringing History to Life through Readers' Theater; and History in the Present Tense: Engaging Students through Inquiry and Action (co-authored with Douglas Selwyn). Also a collection of short stories: The Persistence of Memory and Other Stories (Feb 2020).

She holds a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies: Theater, Education, and Neuroscience. She most recently taught interdisciplinary seminars, education-related courses, and documentary studies at Burlington College at the undergraduate and graduate levels and is currently a senior scholar at the Institute for Ethics in Public Life, State University of New York at Plattburgh.

She lives with her husband Doug Selwyn in Greenfield, MA.



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Interview

Jan Maher discusses Heaven, Indiana, how it was based on her meeting with the daughter of a worker at a carnival, and her own experiences growing up in Indiana.

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 synthesis of everything. It's a bit of what would happen if you put a certain element ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Jan Maher at BookBrowse
Heaven, Indiana jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Jan Maher but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Daniel Akst

    Daniel Akst

    Dan Akst is a writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Slate and other leading publications. His most recent book is We Have Met the Enemy: Self-Control in an... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Heaven, Indiana

    Try:
    The Webster Chronicle
    by Daniel Akst

  • Dayna Dunbar

    Dayna Dunbar

    Dayna Dunbar is a native Oklahoman who currently makes her home in Santa Monica, CA. She grew up in Yukon, a tightly knit farming and grain-milling town in Oklahoma, where most folks were relatives or family friends. This ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Heaven, Indiana

    Try:
    The Saints and Sinners of Okay County
    by Dayna Dunbar

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