Along with all Americans, citizens of the Bronx suffered during the Depression. So when Mary's father died, her mother opened the family home to boarders and placed a discreet sign next to the front door that read, "Furnished Rooms. Kitchen Privileges."
The family's struggle to make ends meet; her days as a scholarship student in an exclusive girls academy; the death of her beloved older brother in World War II; her marriage to Warren Clark; writing stories at the kitchen table; finally selling the first one for $100, after six years and 40 rejections, all these experiences figure into Kitchen Privileges.
Her husband's untimely death left her a widowed mother of five young children. Determined to care for her family and to make a career for herself, she wrote scripts for a radio show. In her spare time she began writing novels. Where Are The Children? became an international best seller and launched her career.
When asked if she might consider giving up writing for a life of leisure, Marv has replied, "Never. To be happy for a year, win the lottery. To be happy for life, do what you love."