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Andover Authors

Andrew Coburn

Mary McGarry Morris

Jay Leno

Susan Kelly

Jeanne Schinto

Paul Monette

Linda Sones Feinberg

Deborah Warren

Other authors with Andover connections


GENRE(S): Mystery/Crime/Suspense

Mr. Coburn was born in Exeter, NH, and has been a longtime resident of Andover. He attended Suffolk University in Boston and, over the years as a writer and editor, he has worked for newspapers in Lawrence and for the Boston Globe. He is married to the former Bernadine Casey, a college public relations director, and is the father of Cathleen, Krista, Lisa and Heather.

In 1990, Mr. Coburn received an Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination for Goldilocks. He is also the recipient of a Doctor of Letters degree from Merrimack College, N. Andover, MA, and a Eugene Saxton fellowship. Many of this author's novels are set in his home state of Massachusetts.

Maureen Taylor of the Boston Globe notes, "Coburn, like Hitchcock, exploits the potential for terror in the macabre played out against the mundane ... his people ring true."


GENRE: Fiction

Mary McGarry Morris was born in Meriden, CT, the daughter of John and Margaret McGarry. In 1962, she married Michael Morris, an attorney, and settled in Andover while raising a family. She is the mother of Mary Margaret, Sarah, Melissa, Michael, and Amy. Matriculating at both the University of Vermont and the University of Massachusetts, she has worked in the Massachusetts Department of Welfare in Lawrence, MA, and has spent some time as a financial assistance social worker.

Her novel, Vanished, amid much acclaim, garnered for her both a National Book Award nomination (1988) and a PEN/ Faulkner Award nomination (1999). Songs in Ordinary Time was an Oprah Book Club selection.

New York Times Book Review contributor Alice McDermott comments, "Morris does not devise plots, but traps: steel-toothed, inescapable traps of circumstances and personality against which her characters struggle and fail."


GENRE(S): Humor/Satire, Autobiography/Memoir

The man the world knows as "Jay Leno" was born James Douglas Muir Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Son of Angelo and Cathryn Leno, he is married to Mavis Nicholson. Jay grew up in Andover and graduated from Emerson College. He has an avid interest in antique motorcycles and automobiles.

A versatile performer, Jay has been a Rolls Royce auto mechanic and deliveryman, as well as a stand-up comedian who became a household word for late night television enthusiasts as the affable host of The Tonight Show.

His autobiography, Leading with My Chin, details his rise to fame and the vicissitudes that befall a growing boy with a great sense of humor and perfect timing. Known as "a nice guy", according to New York Times Book Review contributor, Bill Carter, "Mr. Leno is about performing."

Among his awards is a Writers Guild of America nomination (1987); and an Emmy Award for Best Musical or Variety Series (1995) for The Tonight Show.

Jay loves his home town, and has been very generous to Andover in terms of his time and his money! He loves us and we love him.


GENRE(S): Mystery/Crime/Investigative non-fiction

Susan Kelly was born in New York City, moving to New England in her early years and matriculated at Massachusetts colleges where she earned both a B.A. and M.A. in English. She also received a Ph.D in medieval literature from the University of Edinburgh.

Her first novel, The Gemini Man, garnered an Anthony Award nomination for Best First Novel of 1985 and scored in the top ten books in the National Mystery Readers' Poll that year. Elements of suspense, humor and romance are skillfully woven through all her novels.

During her career as a writer she has been a consultant to the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council and a teacher of crime-report writing at the Cambridge, Mass. Police Academy.
Her research into the Boston Strangler killings evolved into her most recent book, The Boston Stranglers: the public conviction of Albert DeSalvo and the true story of eleven shocking murders, a non-fiction investigative offering in which she discusses Albert DeSalvo's innocence. She was recently interviewed and featured in a front cover story in Boston Magazine.


GENRE(S): Nonfiction, Fiction, Anthologies

Jeanne Schinto was born in Greenwich, CT, to Henry and Josephine Schinto. Married to Robert J. Frishman (a horologist), she was educated at George Washington University (B.A. Journalism and American Studies), and Johns Hopkins University (M.A. Discipline in Fiction Writing) and makes her home in Andover.

Among her published works are Shadow Bands (alluded to as a "wonderful collection of stories" by Los Angeles Times Book Review contributor, Judith Freeman); The Literary Dog: Great Contemporary Dog Stories; and a novel, Children of Men. But it is in Huddle Fever: Living in the Immigrant City and writing from personal experience, that Schinto gains much local acclaim as she details urban decline in nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts. A Publisher's Weekly commentator called Schinto's book "an intriguing blend of reportage, history and reflection."


GENRE(S): Novels, Poetry, Nonfiction, Autobiography/Memoirs

Paul Monette was born October 16, 1945, in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He spent his childhood and early formative years in Andover, graduating from Philips Andover Academy, and Yale University. A distinguished writer of poetry, novels, and autobiographical volumes, much of his opus deals with the issues of homosexuality and AIDS. His autobiographical book, Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story won the National Book Award for non-fiction in 1992. Borrowed Time : an AIDS Memoir is an account of the death of Monette's lover from AIDS. Monette himself died of AIDS on February 10, 1995.

He first received critical attention in 1975 with the publication of his poetry collection, The Carpenter at the Asylum.

Placing Monette's legacy within the tradition of gay male literature, Daniel Mendelsohn, writing in The Nation, concluded: "Monette's may not be the most melodious in the choir of gay voices, but it's unmistakably his, still too gay, too personal; and that distinctiveness, which has evolved over a long and ultimately brave career, makes it all the more difficult to imagine the literary stage without this particular player".


GENRE: Psychology

I'm Grieving as Fast as I Can: how young widows and widowers can cope and heal  (hundreds of copies of this title were distributed to spouses of World Trade Center victims); and Teasing: innocent fun or sadistic malice?

Linda was born in Boston, and raised in Newton. she has a degree in Government from Boston University, and a MSW from Boston College. She ran the foster home program for the City of Boston from 1975-1979. Linda was the statewide founder of Young Widows and Widowers of Massachusetts, which still meets weekly in Andover.

Linda is married to Dr. Alec Feinberg. She is the mother of Marissa (22) and Jennifer (13). (source: the author)


GENRE: Poetry

Deborah Warren was born in Boston, Massachusetts and educated at Harvard University, from where she graduated with a BA in English. She spent fifteen years teaching Latin and English at Pike School, where she taught as Mrs. McNaughton. She and her husband, who have nine children, now raise heifers on a farm in Vermont, while living across the border in Massachusetts. Her work has been published in a wide variety of journals and has also won a number of prestigious awards. In 2002, she won the Robert Frost Award for her poem Sheepdog Trials at Bleinau Ffestiniog. Her books include Size of Happiness and Zero Meridian


Jennifer Block

What to Do When You're Dating a Jew: everything you need to know from matzo balls to marriage (2000) coauthored with Vikki Weiss. 
Jennifer grew up in Andover, graduated from Andover High in 1987, and has a Journalism degree from Boston University. She now lives with her husband in San Francisco.  (source: the author)

Wendy Darling

Breeding discontent.  Wendy grew up in Andover and now lives in Georgia.  She worked at MHL as a page while in high school.

Gary W. Ferris

Presidential places : a guide to the historic sites of U.S. presidents (1999). Gary has recently moved from Pennsylvania to Andover.  

Sources include: Contemporary Authors, The Gale Group

Last updated: October 01, 2012
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