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March 22, 2023


Mary Gaitskill is an acclaimed American author known for her raw and provocative writing style. Over the course of her career, she has written several award-winning books, including “Bad Behavior” and “Veronica.” Despite her fame, there are some interesting facts that most people don’t know about her. In this blog post, we’ll explore seven intriguing facts about Mary Gaitskill that will enlighten and inspire you.

7 Intriguing Facts About Mary Gaitskill You Might Not Know

1. She Was a Runaway Teenager

Mary Gaitskill had a tumultuous childhood and was a runaway teenager at the age of 16. She left home and hitchhiked across the country, finding herself in San Francisco, where she lived on the streets for a while. This experience deeply influenced her writing, and she often writes about the underbelly of society.

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2. She Was a Model

Mary Gaitskill worked as a model during her younger years. She was signed by Wilhelmina Models, one of the top modeling agencies at the time. She has said that her experience as a model helped her understand the power dynamics between men and women, which is a recurring theme in her work.

3. She Started Writing in Her 30s

Despite her love for literature, Mary Gaitskill didn’t start writing until her 30s. She had been working many odd jobs, including as a stripper and a secretary, and had only started taking writing seriously after taking a writing workshop in college. She has since become one of the most influential writers of her generation.

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4. She Suffers from Lyme Disease

Mary Gaitskill suffers from Lyme Disease, a chronic illness caused by a tick bite. She has spoken about the challenges of living with a chronic illness and how it has affected her writing. In an interview with The New Yorker, she said, “I need to believe that there’s something worth living for, that there’s some reason to do this beyond the simple fact of survival.”

5. She Was a University Lecturer

Mary Gaitskill was a lecturer at the University of Virginia. She taught creative writing and literature classes, inspiring and mentoring many young writers. She is known for her dedication to her students and her passion for teaching.

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6. She Has a Penchant for Dark Themes

Mary Gaitskill’s writing often features dark themes, including sexual violence, disconnection, and alienation. She has said that she writes about these themes because they are part of the human experience, and her writing is a way to explore and understand them.

7. She Is a Feminist

Mary Gaitskill is a feminist and has written about women’s experiences in a male-dominated society. Her work has been praised for its unflinching portrayal of female desire and sexuality, and she has been called one of the most important feminist writers of our time.

7 FAQs About Mary Gaitskill

1. What Are Some of Mary Gaitskill’s Best-Known Books?
Some of Mary Gaitskill’s best-known books are “Bad Behavior,” “Two Girls, Fat and Thin,” “The Mare,” and “Veronica.”

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2. Is Mary Gaitskill a Controversial Author?
Yes, Mary Gaitskill is a controversial author due to her frank and often provocative writing style.

3. How Has Mary Gaitskill’s Personal Life Influenced Her Writing?
Mary Gaitskill’s personal life has deeply influenced her writing, and she often writes about her own experiences in her work.

4. What Is Mary Gaitskill’s Writing Style Like?
Mary Gaitskill’s writing style is raw, unflinching, and often provocative. She is known for exploring dark themes and tackling taboo subjects.

5. What Are Some of the Themes in Mary Gaitskill’s Writing?
Some of the themes in Mary Gaitskill’s writing include sexual violence, desire, alienation, and disconnection.

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6. Has Mary Gaitskill Won Any Awards?
Yes, Mary Gaitskill has won several awards for her writing, including the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award.

7. What Is Mary Gaitskill Doing Now?
Mary Gaitskill is currently working on a new book, which is set to be released in the near future.


Mary Gaitskill is a fascinating and influential author whose work has touched on important themes and topics. From being a runaway teenager to a prominent university lecturer, she has led a remarkable life that has informed her writing and made her a literary force to be reckoned with. We hope this blog post has given you a glimpse into the life and work of this inspiring writer. If you’re a fan of Mary Gaitskill’s writing or are just discovering her work, we encourage you to delve deeper into her oeuvre and explore the worlds she has created on the page.

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