Mary Smith

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Mary Smith

Mary Smith

Meet Mary on Amazon

Mary Smith lives in south west Scotland where she grew up. In between she spent ten years working on various health projects in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which has been hugely influential on her writing. On her return to Scotland she did a Masters degree in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. Her first novel, No More Mulberries, is set in Afghanistan. As well as fiction, she writes narrative non-fiction and is also a published poet. As a freelance journalist she writes features on the arts, local history and interesting people. She wants to travel more – maybe when her son graduates!

You can also meet Mary at her website

 

No More Mulberries

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You will feel you have really got to know these people and will want to know what happens in their lives long after you’ve read the last chapter.  ~ Joseph King AVP

Set in Afghanistan, No More Mulberries is the story of Scottish-born Miriam and her Afghan husband Dr Iqbal. Miriam loves her work at a rural health clinic in Afghanistan but is aware of cracks appearing in her marriage, though she doesn’t know what is going wrong – only that her husband seems to be changing and is no longer the man she married. When, against Iqbal’s wishes, Miriam agrees to act as translator at a health teaching camp she hopes time apart might help her understand the cause of their problems. An old friend appears at the camp, inviting her to visit his village and Miriam finds herself travelling on a journey into her past where she must face up to the traumatic loss of her first husband, killed by a mujahideen group. When she realises it is partly her own behaviour which has damaged her relationship with Iqbal, Miriam resolves to put things right between them – but is she too late? Will Iqbal still want her, or will the return of his first love, a beautiful Afghan girl now a widow, mean he no longer wants Miriam? No More Mulberries is a novel about loss, divided loyalties, and, ultimately, love. As well as a powerful story it offers an intriguing and authentic insight into daily life in rural Afghanistan.

 

drunk chickens and burnt macaroni

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At times hilarious and heartbreaking, this book brings to life a country many would just as soon forget about. ~ Erin Gilmer

Drunk Chickens and Burn Macaroni offers a remarkable insight into the lives of Afghan women both before and after Taliban’s rise to power. The reader is caught up in the day-to-day lives of women like Sharifa, Latifa and Marzia, sharing their problems, dramas, the tears and the laughter: whether enjoying a good gossip over tea and fresh nan, dealing with a husband’s desertion, battling to save the life of a one-year-old opium addict or learning how to deliver babies safely.
Mary Smith spent several years in Afghanistan working on a health project for women and children in both remote rural areas and in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Given the opportunity to participate more fully than most other foreigners in the lives of the women, many of whom became close friends, she has been able to present this unique portrayal of Afghan women – a portrayal very different from the one most often presented by the media.

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24 Comments

  1. Donna Fasano says:

    I’m going to check out No More Mulberries. Welcome, Mary!

  2. Julie Frayn says:

    Fascinating subjects and intriguing setting, Mary!

    • Mary Smith says:

      Thanks, Julie. I’m hoping with Afghanistan so much in the news lately people might be interested in reading about the ordinary people who live their lives well away from the politics and the headlines.

  3. I love Mary’s writing, I began with Drunk Chickens, because I’m a memoir fan, now No More Mulberries is on my tbr pile.

    • Mary Smith says:

      Hi Carolyn, I’m glad you enjoyed Drunk Chickens and hope you will enjoy No More Mulberries. I loved Trucking in English and A Year on Planet Alzheimer – wish you’d get a move on with the next one!

  4. I’ve got NO MORE MULBERRIES and can’t wait to read it! I know it’s going to grab my heart!

    All the best,
    Lorrie

  5. Mary, I’m looking forward to reading your books and the information they promise to provide about the real people of Afghanistan. They sound wonderful.

    • Mary Smith says:

      Thank you, Dianne. I hope I manage to show that what we see on the news broadcasts isn’t the whole story. People just get on with their lives – as we all do – they laugh, cry, fall in love, have affairs, worry about their kids.

  6. Hi, Mary. I was so pleased to host you as a guest author on my blog…and am even more pleased to have you as a member in our group!

  7. Pete Barber says:

    Hi Mary,

    As the newest member of eNovelAuthorsatWork, I just wanted to stop by and say hi! I look forward to working with you to spread the word about your stories.

    BTW, I lived in Bonnybridge and worked in Glasgow for a few years–many moons ago. I loved Scotland, although the winters eventually got the better of me.

    Pete

    • Mary Smith says:

      So sorry I’ve not replied before now, Pete. I forget to look at my page – Jackie will have her snake gun pointed at me now! Good to meet you.

      Yes, Scottish winters are tough to get through and sometimes so are the summers. This year we’ve had a few days of sunshine though so we are all quite cheerful.
      Now I have to go and check out your books.

  8. Sarah Lane says:

    Looking forward to reading your books, especially No More Mulberries, which sounds intriguing.

    • Mary Smith says:

      Thank you Sarah. I hope you will enjoy No More MUlberries. Sorry for the delay in replying to your post – see reply to Pete above. I need to be more organised about this. Good to meet you here and I wish you – and all of us – well in indie world.

  9. KJD says:

    Hi Mary,

    Burn macaroni? Did you eat my mother’s food then?

    Visited Scotland once – it rained. Good luck with the referendum on the 18th (how quickly did that arrive eh?)

    Cheers,
    Kerry

    • Mary Smith says:

      Persuading the cook to burn it was the only way to get any flavour into plain boiled macaroni!

      I’m gradually coming out of mourning after the referendum result – getting ready to continue the fight.

  10. Hi Mary,
    It’s so nice to meet you and check out your books.
    I’ll pin No More Mulberries to the Indie Extravaganza board.
    Lois

  11. Pamela deRoy says:

    Dear Ms. Smith:

    I’ve just finished reading “No More Mulberries” – absolutely spell-binding and riveting. Characters are so well developed; it was a book I couldn’t put down for long. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d like to know the titles of other books you’ve written; couldn’t get them to come up in Amazon. Wonder too, what you think of America’s involvement in Afghanistan. ISIS and the Taliban seem to be growing stronger every day. Our making war against Iraq and Afghanistan was, to me, a huge error in judgement and the people who have suffered the most are the people in those countries. At any rate! Your book is excellent. I’m reading as many books as possible written by women from the Middle East. Would that everyone would educate themselves with the real Muslim faith and try to understand these people better. I was unfamiliar with a lot of the words you used in the book that were in italics. Wish only that you’d had the translation in the back of the book. Thank you!

    • Mary Smith says:

      I am so sorry I have not replied to your lovely comments before now. No one had left a comment for a while and I’m afraid I’d stopped checking.

      Thanks you so much for what you said about No More Mulberries. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. I’m sorry a glossary of the Dari words was not included and I hope not knowing some of the words did not spoil your enjoyment too much.

      Since you left this comment the security situation in Afghanistan has become worse and it seems nothing can stop Taliban and ISIS. Last month there was a horrible incident when seven Hazara people, including women and a child, were beheaded by Taliban. It was a few days before the Paris shooting so there was very little mention of it in the western media. However, 10,000 Afghans took the streets of Kabul to protest about the killing and to demand peace. I wish something like this would be more widely reported to show the majority of Afghans want to live in peace.

      Thank you again for your lovely comments.

  12. Mary Smith says:

    I’m delighted to say I discovered today author and blogger Terry Tyler chose No More Mulberries as one of the top 24 books she read in 2015. Doing a little happy dance about that.
    Here’s the link to her blog post http://bit.ly/1NlJRxl

  13. Mary Smith says:

    I have joined with four fabulous eNovel authors to run a Rafflecopter with the chance to win $100 (PayPal cash or Amazon gift card). It’s free to enter. Good luck.
    https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7996b6c5328/

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