Mary Ann Shaffer: Biography

Mary Ann Shaffer

01 jan 1934

Mary Ann Shaffer always had a thirst for writing. Born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Mary took up many jobs for her livelihood. She worked as a librarian, a bookstore keeper and also served in a publishing company. All the jobs kept her nearer to books. She also took a receptionist job and ended up being an editor. This shows her craze on books.

Once when Mary Ann Shaffer was in London on her official work, she thought about Guernsey. The very thought made her visit the place and she was absolutely fascinated by the island. Since the airports were shut down due to heavy fog, she was unable to return. Stuck in the airport, Mary read all the books from the Guernsey airport bookstore.

The books boosted her interest in Guernsey so much that even after 20 years, when Mary’s literary club members urged her to write a book, she immediately thought of writing about Guernsey. It took many years for her to write her first and only book ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’. Due to bad health, she got help from her niece author Annie Barrows to complete the book.

It was Shaffer’s long time desire to write a book that someone would like to publish. Although her wish was fulfilled, she did not live to see it. She died at her home in San Anselmo on Feb 16, 2008. The book was widely accepted and praised by her family, friends and publishers. The book got a place in the New York Times Best Seller List and secured the place for 11 weeks. The movie adaptation of the book was on talks from 2008 but for varied reasons it’s been postponed.

Mary Ann lived a happy life with her husband Carl Richard Shaffer and her two daughters. Her soul would have rested in peace with the completion of her book and her desire fulfilled.