Mary Dean Cason

 

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Introducing Mary Dean Cason's debut collection, What Solomon Saw And Other Stories

Set in the American South, Chicago, New York City, and Europe, What Solomon Saw includes eleven insightful stories, some lighthearted, some heartbreaking, that explore the lives of women young and old, some strong, others fragile, all befuddled by life’s contradictions.

The title story takes its name from, Solomon, the wise old willow oak that cradles the tree house of young Martha, who finds herself reeling in the rapidly changing 1960s. In “A Whore for Thursdays,” Gina investigates what is behind her angelic husband’s shocking deathbed confession. “Girl Interrupted at Her Music” follows cellist Nora Steele into a spiral of depression after she loses her husband—and all hope for children—in the South Tower. And in “A Split in the Seam,” Tess receives unexpected visits, proving that parents continue to watch over their children—even from the afterlife.

Excerpts from What Solomon Saw and Other Stories:

Praise for What Solomon Saw
Ken Burger, author of Swallow Savannah and Sister Santee
A true Southern voice is rare—a harmony and a cacophony of insincerity and slander, all smothered in grits and gravy and peppered with an essence of downright meanness. So, right this way, y’all, Mary Dean is in the kitchen.
Gary D. Wilson, author of Sing, Ronnie Blue
Mary Dean Cason carves intelligent, funny, compassionate stories with a pitch-perfect ear, a keen eye for detail, and an abiding faith in humanity, despite its foibles.
About Mary Dean Cason
Mary Dean's first story, read aloud while carpooling to St. Leo's Catholic Grammar School, was a sequel to Gone with the Wind. Cason's Rhett Butler meets another woman who adores him. Scarlett sets out to kill them both. "My story met with frowns," Cason says. "I was the only girl in North Carolina who didn't pull for Scarlett to get Rhett back."

Mary Dean had already blown through a series of careers before she settled down to study writing. "I was a flight attendant back in the days when we got pinched on a regular basis. I hung wallpaper at night while I was studying to be an occupational therapist. Eventually, I became a writer for pharmaceutical/healthcare ad agencies and somehow managed to raise two amazing children along the way."

Writing stories came late, but the seeds were planted early. Growing up on the front porches of North Carolina was where Cason listened, and in time, learned to be a storyteller. In 2000, she submitted "What Solomon Saw" to Chicago Public Radio's Stories on Stage. It ended up becoming one of six finalists and ultimately spurred her to enroll at the University of Chicago's Writers Studio where she won the 2008 prize for fiction. Since then, she has been a featured writer at Chicago’s Story Club, cofounder of Indigan Storytellers, a workshop for oral storytelling, and creator of Wine, Women and Stories, an Indiana literary salon that raises money for a variety of arts-related causes. In addition to the Writers Studio prize, Mary Dean also won the University of Memphis Pinch Award and California's WestSide Story Contest. Mary Dean lives along Lake Michigan with her husband. Together they have six children. She is completing her first novel.
Upcoming Events

March 2015

  • March 29 Mary Dean Cason will perform at Story Sessions at City Winery in Chicago-- Sunday Brunch Show, March 29, 11:00am

April 2015

  • The 6th Wine Women and Stories at Jazzercize Center on Franklin, Saturday, April 18th 7-PM proceeds will support a local Michigan City charity.

May 2015

  • May 1, First Friday Art Walk Book signing and reading at Blink Contemporary Art at 1709 Franklin Street in Michigan City.
  • Saturday, May 9 Spring Loaded--An Explosion of Stories, Music and Art at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City. Authors and Musicians will perform their work, set amidst the new exhibit: Looking Glass Exploring Self Portraiture. In addition, Prop Room Selfies, a realtime self portrait contest will take place as participants rifle through a collections of back stage props to show off their best and most outrageous selves. Tickets are $15. Proceeds benefit the Lubeznik Center's Academic Achievement through Art After school programs--serving eleven after school sites in partnership with Safe Harbor and Boys and Girls Club.