Mary Roach: Author

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Sex, Love and Intimacy episode 44: Mary Roach: Revealing the (often amusing) Secrets of Sex Research

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Mary Roach is the author of Bonk (April, 2008), Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.  Stiff was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick for 2003, a Northern California Book Awards finalist, and an American Library Association Alex Award (for adult books that appeal to young adults) winner.   Spook was a New York Times Notable Book for 2005.   Ms. Roach’s books have been translated into 16 languages.

Before writing Bonk, Spook, and Stiff, Mary wrote columns, essays, and feature articles.  Her work has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, GQ, and the New York Times Magazine, among many other publications.  She is a former columnist at and  contributing editor at the science magazine Discover.   She has always gravitated toward the peculiar, covering things like eskimo food, flatulence, vaginal weight-lifting, carrot addiction, and amputee bowling leagues.

Mary was a National Magazine Award Finalist in 1995, and, in 1996 she took the American Engineering Association Media Award in the category General Interest Magazines, for which she was, let’s be honest, the only entrant. Her column "My Planet" (Reader’s Digest) was runner-up for the humor category of the 2005 National Press Club awards. Her column "The Slightly Wider World of Sports" (Sports Illustrated for Women) did not garner any awards but did afford the life-enriching opportunity to learn alligator-wrestling, jousting, dirt-biking, and knife-throwing.

Mary lives in Oakland, California, with her husband Ed and works in an office with seven other writers.  She was born in Hanover, New Hampshire.  She enjoys birdwatching, though the hours do not agree with her, backpacking, thrift stores, overseas supermarkets, Scrabble, mangoes, and that late-night Animal Planet show about horrific animals like the parasitic worm that attaches itself to fishes’ eyeballs but makes up for it by leading them around.