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Mary McCarthy was born in Seattle, Washington on June 21, 1912. She studied literature at Vassar College, where she graduated with honors at the age of twenty-one. She worked as an editor at Covici Friede Publishers from 1936-1937 and Partisan Review from 1937-1938. She was a theatre critic for the Partisan Review from 1938-1962. She taught or lectured at Beard College, Sarah Lawrence College, University College in London, and Vassar College.
She wrote seven novels including The Company She Keeps, Birds of America, Cannibals and Missionaries, and The Group, which was made into a movie in 1966. She also wrote critical works, travel books and the autobiographical Memoirs of a Catholic Girlhood. She received several awards during her lifetime including the Edward MacDowell Medal, the National Medal of Literature, and the first Rochester Literary Award. She died of cancer on October 25, 1989 at the age of 77.
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