Mary Therese McCarthy and Adoption
McCarthy was born in Seattle and orphaned when she was six. She was raised by relatives who abused her, before being taken from them by sympathetic grandparents. She had an unhappy childhood, largely blamed on her Roman Catholic education, which she depicted in Memories of a Catholic Girlhood (1957). She was then educated at Vassar.
She was a critic for literary periodicals in New York in the 1930s and 40s. Her most famous book is probably The Group (1963), but she also wrote a number of other novels, books of essays, and the correspondence between her and Hannah Arendt was published in 1995 as Between Friends. Her views on the Vietnam War and the Watergate Scandal made her unpopular with the American political establishment, and in later life she carried on a number of bitter disputes with former friends, including Arendt and her first husband.
Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97 Who Was Who in America McCarthy, Mary. How I Grew. (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987) Contemporary Authors Gelderman, Carol W. Mary McCarthy: A Life. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989) Kiernan, Frances. Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy. (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2000)