Mary Roach biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Mary Roach
Photo: John Madere

Mary Roach

Mary Roach Biography

Mary Roach is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, including Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers; Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, and Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Her book Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law, was released in September 2021. Mary's books have been published in 21 languages, and her second book, Spook, was a New York Times Notable Book. Mary has written for National Geographic, Wired, the New York Times Magazine, and the Journal of Clinical Anatomy, among others. She was a guest editor of the Best American Science and Nature Writing series and an Osher Fellow with the San Francisco Exploratorium and serves as an advisor for Orion and Undark magazines. She has been a finalist for the Royal Society's Winton Prize and a winner of the American Engineering Societies' Engineering Journalism Award, in a category for which, let's be honest, she was the sole entrant.

Mary Roach's website

This bio was last updated on 09/03/2021. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

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Interview

Amongst other things, Mary Roach talks about why she got interested in the 'lives' of human cadavers in the first place and whether there are any 'bad' uses for dead bodies.

What got you interested in the "lives" of human cadavers in the first place?
One day I was talking to a man who designs crash test dummies. He told me that actual humans--both living and dead--have also been used by automotive safety researchers. He explained that you not only need to know how much force an impact is unleashing on a body (dummies tell you that); you also need to know what kind of damage that much force will cause to an actual body. And for anything other than very minor impacts, you would want that body to be dead.

Anyway, I began to realize there's this whole work force of donated cadavers out there, being put through their paces in labs and universities. Like any new and foreign world, it was fascinating to me and I wanted to know more.

What was the creepiest place you visited during your research?
I visited a lab where plastic surgeons were practicing new techniques. I remember walking in, and there were these 40 heads, set up in pans on tabletops, all in a row. Your brain doesn't really know what to do with this. Mine chose to pretend we were in a rubber mask factory, and these were just very realistic Halloween items being worked ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Mary Roach at BookBrowse
Fuzz jacket Grunt jacket Gulp jacket Packing for Mars jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Mary Roach 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

  • Erica Brown

    Erica Brown

    Dr. Erica Brown is a writer and educator who works as the scholar-in-residence for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She is the author of Inspired Jewish Leadership, a National Jewish Book Award finalist, and a ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Stiff

    Try:
    Happier Endings
    by Erica Brown

  • Bill Bryson

    Bill Bryson

    Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa. He moved to England, where he worked for The Times and The Independent, and wrote for many major British and American publications.

    Bill Bryson's bestselling books include A Walk ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Stiff

    Try:
    A Short History of Nearly Everything
    by Bill Bryson

We recommend 17 similar authors

View all 17 Readalikes

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