Meet Ann McMan
ANN McMAN is the author of nine novels and two short story collections. She is is the Lambda Literary Award-winning author of nine novels and two short story collections. She is a two-time Independent Publisher (IPPY) medalist, an eight-time recipient of Golden Crown Literary Society Awards, and a laureate of the Alice B. Foundation for her outstanding body of work. She lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
From her early days, growing up on the western frontier of Pennsylvania, Ann McMan found creative ways to exercise her gift for fiction. Her first literary endeavors were modest—mostly confined to aphorisms scrawled on cracked pavement with colored chalk.
“FREE UPPER VOLTA!”
But as the years passed and her skills increased, she branched out into literary nonfiction–best exemplified by the abstracts that follow.
“Please excuse Ann from gym this week; she has contracted a virulent case of Norwegian Scabies.”
Sometimes, the performances were less effective.
“Please excuse Ann from this week’s field trip to the IXL Cottage Cheese Creamery. She is suffering from acute bouts of ague and malaria—which, combined, render it impossible for her to travel by bus.”
Ann was unaware that outbreaks of malaria were extremely rare in the Allegheny Mountains—four days in after-school detention helped her cultivate a greater appreciation for the rigors of research.
College at an indifferent liberal arts institution taught Ann that understanding subject/verb agreement was not enough to secure her fame and fortune. After graduation, she got a job driving a young adult bookmobile—and spent her days piloting the great rig across the dusty back roads of rural North Carolina. Her duties included making certain that the mobile library always contained at least six copies of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, visiting the county detention unit (it was a great way to catch up with her brothers), and showing public service films about safe sex to pre-teens at 4-H Clubs all across her part of “The New South.”
Soon, the allure of higher education coaxed Ann back to school. For the past three decades, Ann has worked at a succession of premier institutions, designing marketing and advancement materials that promote, promulgate, and extol the benefits of indifferent liberal arts education.
Ann McMan’s themes are absolutely timeless—they are built around the things that make the world go ‘round, like love, money, and modern class distinctions. She writes to what we all respect: the genuine, the authentic, and the deserving. Yet she mocks those things that we all despise, like the affected, the pretentious, and the malicious.
Ann wields a metaphorical church key that opens up a world that is broader than two women in love, richer than a small cadre of supporting characters, and more colorful than her rich, colloquial dialogue. She is smart, funny, and unapologetic in her prose, and has the confidence never to talk down to her readers. And, because she understands that for women, the romantic hope and fantasy that lives inside each and every one of us is a reality that complicates and colors life to an astonishing degree.
As a writer, Ann isn’t afraid to give voice to cruelty, exploitation of the vulnerable, and soul-deep suffering, but she is remorseless about any kind of falseness in feeling, or manner, or conduct. Women and men who try to be what they are not get skewered within her pages, held up for ridicule such that they condemn themselves out of their very own mouths. And all of them, through her deliberately expansive domestic circles, are metaphors for those things we all recognize in our own everyday lives, no matter where or how we live.