Tabor, Mary L. 1946- (Mary Leeba Tabor)

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Tabor, Mary L. 1946- (Mary Leeba Tabor)


Born March 3, 1946, in Baltimore, MD; daughter of Gerson and Freda Tabor; married Ardell Louis Persinger, September 16, 1984; children: Benjamin George Hammerschlag, Sarah Esther Hammerschlag. Education: University of Maryland, B.A., 1966; Oberlin College, M.A., 1967; Ohio State University, M.F.A., 1999.


Office—English Department, George Washington University, Rome Hall 760, 801 22nd St. NW, Washington, DC 20052. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer, editor, and educator. Towson High School, Towson, MD, teacher, 1967-70; Center for Naval Analyses, Arlington, VA, employment professional, 1970-71; Montgomery County Board of Education, Montgomery County, MD, teacher of adult education, 1975-80; American Petroleum Institute, Washington, DC, editor of public affairs, 1980-83, editor-in-chief and writer, 1983-86, manager of environment, health, and public affairs, 1986-89, director of public affairs writing, 1989-96; Ohio State University, Columbus, associate fiction editor of the Journal literary magazine, 1996-99, contributing editor, 1999; George Washington University, Washington, DC, assistant professorial lecturer in English, 1999—. Lecturer, Smithsonian Campus-on-the-Mall, 2001—; visiting professor, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2006-07. National Catholic Forensic High School League, Chevy Chase High School, Bethesda, MD, debate judge, 1991-93; Bethesda Jewish Congregation, Bethesda, MD, board of directors, 1993-96.


Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Lambda Delta.


Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Award grand prize, 2000; Sherwood Anderson Award, 2000, for "To Swim?"; First Series Award for Short Fiction, Mid-List Press, for The Woman Who Never Cooked, 2006.


The Woman Who Never Cooked: Stories, Mid-List Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Image, Chautauqua Literary Journal, River City, Mid-American Review, Chelsea, Hayden's Ferry Review, American Literary Review, and Antietam Review.


A writer and teacher for over thirty years, Mary L. Tabor put her children through college, then returned to college herself in her early fifties to get a degree in creative writing. She focuses on short fiction, and several of her pieces have been published and have garnered awards. Tabor's first book, The Woman Who Never Cooked: Stories, is a compilation of short stories around a theme of adult women facing defining moments in their lives, with food and cooking acting as a common denominator. Tabor's protagonists navigate through affairs, regrets, family secrets, illness, and death, with the stories revealing the complex layers of their seemingly conventional lives.

Emily Cook, writing for Booklist, described The Woman Who Never Cooked as filled with "subtle humor" and possessing "wisdom about everyday life as women find solace in cooking, work, and chores." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews remarked that several of the compilation's stories are "written in a quiet and low-keyed voice, that perfectly capture[s] the tension between lost futures and vital memories." An Image-Update reviewer wrote that Tabor "adeptly tackles issues of anguish, aging, and love…. In these still, witty stories, Tabor sets a rich table."



Booklist, March 15, 2006, Emily Cook, review of The Woman Who Never Cooked: Stories, p. 29.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2006, review of The Woman Who Never Cooked, p. 206.


ImageUpdate, (March 15, 2006), review of The Woman Who Never Cooked.

Mid-List Press Web site, (November 15, 2006), author profile.