Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Mary Ann Cain  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Mary Ann was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Mary Ann Cain lives near the bend in one of the three rivers of Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she teaches prose writing, rhetoric, and Women’s Studies at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Down From Moonshine
ISBN: 0981955908

13th Moon Press. 2009

Chicago grit and jazz, racing stables, and the bonds that tie people to race horses-- shifting between the 1920s and 1978, this novel tells the intertwined stories of Viney, an African-American woman who moves to Chicago in the early 20th Century northward migration, and of Lenny and Caroline, an interracial couple trying to find themselves in a quickly changing world. Viney loves horses, understands them, and wants to work with them in Chicago's racing stables, at a time when this is unheard-of for any woman, let alone an African-American woman. The novel brings to life a gritty world of stables and trainers, touts, numbers runners, and speakeasies. This world is counterbalanced by Viney's physical, down-to-earth practicality, and her strong spirtual bond to the horses. The Stables, the story's location, becomes first a speakeasy and then an upscale restaurant, itself haunted by a ghost manager whom nobody sees. The people at The Stables go on with their lives, work, resist change, adapt, or fail to do so. Viney's horses haunt The Stables like the persistence of memory, or like the heritage of racism in our present history, ghosts that refuse to leave after their time is past. The contemporary world of Lenny and Caroline, the young lovers, is embedded in this vivid and determined past, as they struggle to move forward with their lives.

Revisioning Writers' Talk: Gender and Culture in Acts of Composing (SUNY series, Literacy, Culture, and Learning: Theory and Practice)
ISBN: 0791420760

SUNY Press. 1995

Stressing the social dimensions of composing, this book inquires into the problems of interpreting and representing writers’ talk in both academic and self directed writing groups, arguing for the value of such talk as a distinct mode of knowing that both complements and criticizes more traditional forms of inquiry. Emphasizing the role of writers’ talk in shaping the text that they produce, it discusses the problem of representing and interpreting writers’ talk in the context of composition studies, using feminist theoretical perspectives to illuminate the difficulty in representing the writer as a knowing subject, neither essentialist nor totally constructivist.

Revisioning Writers’ Talk also investigates the idea of the social in social-constructivist theories of composing, arguing that they maintain rather than demystify hierarchies of discourse and, in turn, the subjects and objects of composing. Cain’s own story of composing is told in the context of her educational experiences as a writer. Finally, the book discusses the constructions of power and authority by both academic and self-directed writing groups.

Speaking Engagements

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