Maureen Howard

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Maureen Howard
Born Maureen Kearns
(1930-06-28) June 28, 1930 (age 85)
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Language English
Alma mater Smith College
Genre Fiction, memoir
Notable works Facts of Life
Notable awards National Book Critics Circle Award
Spouse Daniel F. Howard (1954-1967)
David J. Gordon (1968-?)
Mark Probst (1981-present)

Maureen Howard (born June 28, 1930) is an American writer, editor, and lecturer known for her award-winning autobiography Facts of Life.

She was born Maureen Kearns in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Her father William L. Kearns worked for the State's Attorney's Office as a detective where he was assigned to the Harold Israel case.[1] Howard attended Smith College, graduating with a B.A. in 1952. After graduation she worked in advertising for several years and married Professor Daniel F. Howard in 1954. In 1960, Howard published her first novel Not a Word about Nightingales which tells the story of a New England girl who is sent to Perugia, Italy to retrieve her father who is on an extended sabbatical. The book was a bestseller and she followed it with several other novels set in New England with Irish-American protagonists.[2] She divorced Daniel Howard in 1967 and married David J. Gordon the following year. In 1967 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. The same year she was named a Radcliffe Institute Fellow. During the late 1960s and 1970s she taught literature, drama and creative writing at The New School and UCSB and lectured at CUNY and Columbia University.[3] In 1978 she published her autobiography Facts of Life which won a National Book Critics Circle Award. She continued writing novels and taught English at Amherst College. In 1981 she married author and stockbroker Mark Probst.[4] She was named a fellow by the Ingram Merrill Foundation in 1988. In 1993, she was awarded the Literary Lion Award by the New York Public Library.[5]


  • Not a Word about Nightingales (1960)
  • Bridgeport Bus (1965)
  • Before My Time (1975)
  • Grace Abounding (1982)
  • Expensive Habits (1986)
  • Natural History (1992)
  • A Lover's Almanac (1998)
  • Big as Life: Three Tales for Spring (novellas) (2001)
  • The Silver Screen (2004)
  • The Rags of Time (2009)
  • Facts of Life (autobiography) (1978)
As editor or contributor
  • Seven American Women Writers of the Twentieth Century: An Introduction (Editor) (1977)
  • The Penguin Book of Contemporary American Essays (Editor) (1984)
  • Cabbage and Bones: An Anthology of Irish American Women's Fiction, edited by Caledonia Kearns (Foreword and contributor) (1997)
  • Three Novels: O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, and My Antonia, by Willa Cather (Introduction) (1998)



  1. ^ "You Are There" by Maureen Howard. In Beyond document: essays on nonfiction film by Charles Warren. pp 181-204. Wesleyan University Press (1996). ISBN 0-8195-6290-4.
  2. ^ a b Ireland and the Americas: culture, politics, and history by James Patrick Byrne, Philip Coleman and Jason Francis King. pp 426-7. ABC-CLIO (2008). ISBN 1-85109-614-0.
  3. ^ "Maureen Howard" in Modern Irish-American fiction: a reader by Daniel J. Casey. page 16. Syracuse University Press (1989) ISBN 0-8156-0234-0.
  4. ^ "Maureen Howard Bride Of Mark Probst, Broker". New York Times. January 17, 1981.
  5. ^ International who's who of authors and writers, Europa Publications Limited. page 261 (2003). ISBN 1-85743-179-0
  6. ^ The Cambridge guide to women's writing in English by Lorna Sage, Germaine Greer, Elaine Showalter. page 330. Cambridge University Press (1999). ISBN 0-521-66813-1.

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