Former UMass Amherst Student and Best-Selling Author to Appear on Oprah Winfrey Show

AMHERST, Mass. - On Sept. 18 the Oprah Winfrey Show will be taping a segment featuring Mary McGarry Morris, a former student at the University and author of the current best seller Songs In Ordinary Time.

Morris studied creative writing while at UMass in the early ’60s. Between 1980-86 she worked in Lawrence, Mass., for the Massachusetts Department of Welfare as a financial assistance social worker. Her debut novel, "Vanished," was nominated for both a National Book Award and a PEN/Faulkner Award in 1988.

Morris’s second novel, "A Dangerous Woman," was chosen by Time magazine as one of the five best novels of 1991. It was later made into a movie starring Debra Winger. Her most recent novel, "Songs In Ordinary Time," is the current selection of "Oprah’s Book Club," an on-air book discussion group begun last September by Oprah Winfrey in which viewers read a book assigned by the host then tune in for a discussion with the author.

Morris’s books have been praised for their depiction of mentally and emotionally impaired individuals who have difficulty coping with an unkind world. The segment taped on the 18th is expected to be aired some time later this month.

Morris lives in Andover, Mass., with her husband and five children.