Welcome to a birthday party for the great Mary Stewart! Stewart turned 92 Thursday; hopefully she spent the day happily and quietly in her home in the Scottish hills.
I've written many times about Mary Stewart on this blog; in my estimation she is unmatched as a writer of romantic suspense and as a writer of the literary mystery. Stewart's novels, intelligent and exciting, have remained my favorite for thirty years, and I only hope she celebrated this birthday with people that she loves, and that perhaps she read a good book at her own hearth.
Always a private person, Stewart did consent to an interview with Raymond H. Thompson in 1989, in which he asked her about the writing of suspense. Stewart claimed that it was not entirely conscious: "I've written stories since I was three and a half, and I think you're either born with the storyteller's flair or you're not. You can learn much about the craft of writing, but you either have the storyteller's flair or you don't. It's no virtue of mine. It's just there. In a story, however, each point of rest is also a point of departure; you can't help it."
For anyone who hasn't read a Mary Stewart novel, you must do yourself the favor of reading one in honor of her birthday. NINE COACHES WAITING has been recently re-released by Chicago Review Press (thanks for that info, Janet Reid) with a lovely, mysterious cover. I bought it for my mother for her birthday last August, because she is the one who did me the favor of introducing me to Mary Stewart.
In any case, Mrs. Stewart, I am thinking of you today as you celebrate 92 years.
Here are some virtual birthday candles for your cake: iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
And here are some virtual cake triangles for all Stewart fans to share in her honor: v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v v
And of course some champagne. Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Help yourselves, and celebrate this wonderful writer with me!