McCarthy, Mary Therese

McCarthy, Mary Therese, 1912–89, American writer, b. Seattle, grad. Vassar, 1933. As drama critic for the Partisan Review (1937–45), she gained a reputation for wit, intellect, and acerbity. Her novel The Oasis (1949) satirizes left-wing intellectuals, whereas The Group (1963) satirizes an entire generation. Her other novels include Cast a Cold Eye (1950), The Groves of Academe (1952), Birds of America (1971), and Cannibals and Missionaries (1979). Among her volumes of nonfiction are Venice Observed (1956), The Stones of Florence (1959), Vietnam (1967), The Mask of State: Watergate Portraits (1974), Ideas and the Novel (1980), and How I Grew (1987). A comprehensive collection of her literary, cultural, and political writings was posthumously published as A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays (2002). She was married several times, from 1938–46 to the critic Edmund Wilson.

See her memoirs, Memories of a Catholic Girlhood (1957) and How I Grew (1985); her correspondence with Hannah Arendt (1995); biographies by C. Gelderman (1988) and F. Kiernan (2000); study by I. Stock (1968); Writing Dangerously: Mary McCarthy and Her World (1992) by C. Brightman.

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