Jordan, Mary 1960–
Jordan, Mary 1960–
PERSONAL: Born 1960; married Kevin Sullivan (a reporter); children: Kate, Tom. Education: Georgetown University, bachelor's degree, 1983; Columbia University, master's degree, 1984; also attended Stan ford University.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Penguin Group, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.
CAREER: Writer and journalist. Washington Post, joined staff, 1984, became national education reporter, Northeast Asia Bureau, Tokyo, Japan, co-bureau chief (with husband, Kevin Sullivan), 1995–99, Mexico City Bureau, co-bureau chief (with husband), 2000–.
AWARDS, HONORS: Nieman fellow, Harvard University, 1989–90; George Polk Award, 1998, for reportage on Asian financial crisis; Sigma Delta Chi Award, Society of Professional Journalists, and Pulitzer Prize, 2003, both for reportage on the Mexican justice system for Washington Post; award from Overseas Press Club.
(With husband, Kevin Sullivan) The Prison Angel: Mother Antonia's Journey from Beverly Hills to a Life of Service in a Mexican Jail, Penguin (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Mary Jordan (and her husband Kevin Sullivan, both newspaper reporters), won a Pulitzer Prize for their articles about corruption and cruelty in the Mexican justice system. A Nieman Reports contributor quoted Jordan: "Shortly after we arrived in Mexico in June 2000, it became obvious to us that the broken criminal justice system was the most important issue facing this country. Almost everything in Mexico comes back to this problem." In their book The Prison Angel: Mother Antonia's Journey from Beverly Hills to a Life of Service in a Mexican Jail, Jordan and Sullivan present the stories of several people caught up in that system. The "Prison Angel" of the title is Mary Clarke, a divorcee from California who became a nun and moved into La Mesa, a notorious prison in Tijuana, Mexico, to help care for the impoverished inmates. In the first half of the book, Jordan and Sullivan explain what led Clarke to reject her former life and don a nun's habit, and in the second, they tell the tales of some of the inmates who have been helped by Mother Antonia. "The authors tell her stories simply, and with dignity," commented a Publishers Weekly contributor, "allowing Mother Antonia's passionate determination to come through without cliche." "The Prison Angel's account of her quest may exude too much piety for some readers," Geri Smith wrote in Business Week, "but it's an effective way of getting at the human side of Mexico's broken justice system."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Business Week, July 4, 2005, Geri Smith, "Sister of Mercy," p. 101.
Christian Century, July 12, 2005, review of The Prison Angel: Mother Antonia's Journey from Beverly Hills to a Life of Service in a Mexican Jail, p. 7.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of The Prison Angel, p. 275.
Library Journal, May 15, 2005, Sheila Peiffer, review of The Prison Angel, p. 124.
Nieman Reports, summer, 2003, "Mary Jordan and Husband Kevin Sullivan, Foreign Correspondents for the Washington Post Who Jointly Run the Post's Mexico Bureau, Received the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting on Mexico's Criminal Justice System," p. 121; fall, 2003, Lois Fiore, "Mary Jordan and Her Husband, Kevin Sullivan, Foreign Correspondents for the Washington Post Who Jointly Run the Post's Mexico Bureau," p. 104.
Publishers Weekly, March 21, 2005, review of The Prison Angel, p. 44.
Pulizter Prize Web site, http://www.pulitzer.org/ (September 28, 2005), "The Pulitzer Prize Winners: 2003."