Mary Higgins Clark
The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-eight suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a historical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With bestselling author Alafair Burke she writes the Under Suspicion series including The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, Every Breath You Take, and You Don’t Own Me. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels. More than one hundred million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone. Her books are international bestsellers.
Kitchen Privileges is a book that I feel as though I have been writing ever since I was twelve years old.
In these pages, I’ve tried to show how my mother’s belief in me kept alive my dream to be a writer. My father’s early death left her with three young children to support. A generation later my husband’s early death left me in exactly that position except that I had five children.
Mother supported us by renting rooms, allowing our paying guests to have the privilege of preparing light meals in the kitchen. I supported my family by writing radio shows. Very early in the morning I put my typewriter on the kitchen table before I went to work in Manhattan and spent a few privileged and priceless hours working on my first novel.
I have found that dreams do come true, and I hope that anyone reading this book may feel encouraged to follow his or her own dreams even when the odds against achieving them seem great.
READ MORE ABOUT MARY
Mary Higgins Clark’s books are world-wide bestsellers. In the U.S. alone, her books have sold over 100 million copies. Her most recent suspense novel, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry, was published by Simon & Schuster in November 2019. She also began a collaborative series with Alafair Burke in November 2014, with novels including The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed In White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, Every Breath You Take and You don’t Own Me.
She is the author of thirty-seven previous bestselling novels, Where Are the Children? (1975), A Stranger Is Watching (1978), The Cradle Will Fall (1980), A Cry in the Night (1982), Stillwatch (1984), Weep No More, My Lady (1987), While My Pretty One Sleeps (1989), Loves Music, Loves to Dance (1991), All Around the Town (1992), I’ll Be Seeing You (1993), Remember Me (1994), Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1995), Silent Night (1995), Moonlight Becomes You (1996), Pretend You Don’t See Her (1997), You Belong To Me (1998), All Through the Night (1998), We’ll Meet Again (1999), Before I Say Good-Bye (2000), On the Street Where You Live (2001), Daddy’s Little Girl (2002), The Second Time Around (2003), Nighttime is My Time (2004), No Place Like Home (2005), Two Little Girls in Blue (2006), I Heard That Song Before (2007), Where Are You Now? (2008), Just Take My Heart (2009), The Shadow of Your Smile (2010), I’ll Walk Alone (2011), The Lost Years (2012), Daddy’s Gone A Hunting (2013), I’ve Got You Under My Skin (2014), The Melody Lingers On (2015), As Time Goes By (2016). She is the author of four collections of short stories, The Anastasia Syndrome & Other Stories (1989), The Lottery Winner: Alvirah & Willy Stories (1994) and My Gal Sunday: Henry and Sunday Stories (1996) and Death Wears A Beauty Mask (2015). Her first book, a biographical novel about George Washington, was re-issued with the title, Mount Vernon Love Story, in June 2002. Her memoir, Kitchen Privileges, was published by Simon & Schuster in November 2002. Her first children’s book, Ghost Ship, illustrated by Wendell Minor, was published in April 2007 as a Paula Wiseman Book/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Her next children’s book, also a Paula Wiseman Book/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and illustrated by Wendell Minor was published in the fall of 2011, The Magical Christmas Horse.
She is co-author, with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, of five holiday suspense novels Deck the Halls (2000), He Sees You When You’re Sleeping (2001), The Christmas Thief (2004), Santa Cruise (2006) and Dashing Through the Snow (2008). A holiday book combining Deck the Halls and The Christmas Thief for the first time in one volume was published by Simon & Schuster in November 2009.
Mary Higgins Clark was chosen by Mystery Writers of America as Grand Master of the 2000 Edgar Awards. An annual Mary Higgins Clark Award sponsored by Simon & Schuster, to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition, was launched by Mystery Writers of America during Edgars week in April 2001. She was the 1987 president of Mystery Writers of America and, for many years, served on their Board of Directors. In May 1988, she was Chairman of the International Crime Congress. She received the International Crime Writers’ “First Lady of Mystery” award in 2008 and was been chosen for Malice Domestic’s 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award.
She is # 1 fiction bestselling author in France, where she received the Grand Prix de Literature Policière in 1980 and The Literary Award at the 1998 Deauville Film Festival. In 2000, she was named by the French Minister of Culture “Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.”
Active in Catholic affairs, Mary Higgins Clark was made a Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, a papal honor. She is also a Dame of Malta and a Lady of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. She received the Graymoor Award from the Franciscan Friars in 1999.
Mary Higgins Clark’s fame as a writer was achieved against heavy odds. Born and raised in the Bronx, her father died when she was eleven and her mother struggled to raise her and her two brothers. On graduating from high school, she went to secretarial school. After three years of working in an advertising agency, travel fever seized her. For the year 1949, she was a stewardess on Pan American Airlines’ international flights. After flying for a year, she married a neighbor, Warren Clark, nine years her senior, whom she had known since she was 16. Soon after her marriage, she started writing short stories, finally selling her first to Extension Magazine in 1956 for $100. “I framed that first letter of acceptance,” she recalls.
Left a young widow by the death of her husband from a heart attack in 1964, Mary Higgins Clark began to write radio scripts for a living. In addition, she decided to try her hand at writing books. Every morning she wrote from 5 AM to 7 AM, when she had to get her five children ready for school. Her very first book was a biographical novel about George Washington, inspired by a radio series she was writing, “Portrait of a Patriot.” Originally published in 1969 by Meredith Press with the title Aspire to the Heavens, it was discovered years later by a Washington family member and re-issued in 2002 with the title, Mount Vernon Love Story.
Mary Higgins Clark’s first suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1975. It became a bestseller and marked a turning point in her life and career. It is currently in its 75th edition in paperback and was re-issued in hardcover as a Simon & Schuster classic. Freed to catch up on things she always wanted to do, she entered Fordham University at Lincoln Center, graduating summa cum laude in 1979 with a B.A. in philosophy. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Fordham University in 1998. She is a past trustee of Fordham University and Providence College and currently on the Board of Governors of the Hackensack College Medical Center. She has twenty-one honorary doctorates.
Honors she has received include the Gold Medal of Honor from the American-Irish Historical Society (1993), the Spirit of Achievement Award from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (1994), the National Arts Club’s first Gold Medal in Education (1994), the Horatio Alger Award (1997), the Outstanding Mother of the Year Award (1998), the Bronx Legend Award (1999), the 2001 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the first Reader’s Digest Author of the Year Award (2002), the Christopher Life Achievement Award (2003) and the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award (2008).