Clark, Mary Higgins: All Around the Town
(researched by Katherine Sykes)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

The publisher is Simon and Schuster. It was published in New York, New York. The copyright is 1992.

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?

The first edition is in cloth.

3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

1-14, 15-302, 2 (pg.1 small illustration, pg.3 other novels by the author, pgs.4-5 Author's name and title, pg.6 publishing information, pg.7 Thank you page for sources, pg.9 Dedication page, pg.11 Title page, pg.13> "Part One")

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

This book was neither edited nor introduced.

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

The novel and its illustrations were designed by Eve Metz, and manufactured in the United States of America.

7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available

8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

The novel is fairly large(6in.x12in.) with a tan colored glossy cover. The author's name is printed in very large red letters, and takes up a little over half of the cover. It is by far the first thing that jumps out at the observer. In much smaller black print, below the author's name is written the title, "All around the Town." At the very bottom of the book, in small, spread out white letters, is written, "A Novel." The background of the cover is a picture of huge beige billowing curtains, stained with a bloody handprint. On the floor below the curtains is laying a gold bracelet, and through the open curtains a distant house, partially hidden by trees can be seen. All in all it is a very attractive cover, easy to read, and well printed.

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available

10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

The paper used for the book is in extremly good shape, and looks as if it had just been printed. It is well attached to the binding, and is neither worn nor torn anywhere. The pages are a pale
beige color.

11 Description of binding(s)

The binding is marroon in color, with the author's name printed largely down the side of it in white block letters. The title of the book follows the author's name, and is printed in smaller beige letters. The binding is about an inch i
n width, and is bound with glue.

12 Transcription of title page

All Around the Town

13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings

The author is still living and still has the manuscript holdings. I was unable to obtain information as to their exact location.

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History

1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A

The original publisher only issued the book in its original hardback version

2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available

3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available

4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?

Information not available.

5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

There were several editions
printed by other publishers: 1.)NY: Buccaneer Books, Inc. 1992 2.)NY: Pocket Books, 1993, 1992 Helen Keller Services for the Blind. Large print 18 pt. 3.)London: Arrow, 1993, 1992 paperback

6 Last date in print?

All Around the Town is currently still in print as of 1999.

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

Total copies sold was not found, but 500,000 first printings were sold.

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

This information was not available.

9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

There was no adverising copy found.

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion

There were no other forms of promotio
n found.

12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

1.)1 Computer Disk Buffalo, NY: Braille Group Sisterhood of Temple Beth Am., 1992 machine-readable data and braille 2.)2 Sound Casette Tapes: analog, 15/16 ips [S.1.: s.n.], 1993

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

This book was translated into several other languages. Spanish: 1.)No salgas sola. Buenos Aires: Emece Editores, 1993 2.)Perseguida por toda la ciudad. Barcelona: Plaza y Janes, 1992 French: 3.)Nous n'irons plus au bois. Paris: Albin Michel, 1992 Italian: 4.)In giro por la citta. Italy: Sperling and Kupfer Editori, 1996 Russian: 5.)Progulka po gorodu. Moskva: Novosti, 1993 Arabic: 6.)Lori. Tel Aviv: Or `am, 1993 Chinese: 7.)Wo pu tao ni ti shou. T`ai-pei shih: Hsi tai shu pan yu hsien kung ssu, 1993 Nationality not listed: 8.)Dar dil-i shshr. Tihran: Intisharat-i Dursa, 1993 9.)Urinun ije sup`uro kaji anhnunda. Soul-si: Yeha, 1992

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A

Reader's Digest Condensed Books: vol.1, 1993 Pleasantville, NY: Reader's digest Association, 1993

15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A


Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

Mary Higgins Clark is an American fiction writer of mystery, crime, and suspense novels. She was born on December 24, 1929, in New York, New York. Clark was the daughter of Luke Joseph Higgins, a restaurant owne
r, and Nora C. Higgins (maiden name, Durkin), who was a buyer. Clark attended Villa Maria academy for her elementary and high school education, and then went to Ward Secretarial School, New York University, and finally Fordham University where she reciev
ed her B.A. and was suma cum laude. On December 26, 1949, Mary Higgins married Warren F. Clark, an airline executive, who later died on September 26, 1964. Clark then married Raymond Charles Ploetz, an attorney, on August 8, 1978, but soon after had the
marriage annulled. Clark is the mother of five children: Marilyn, Warren, David, Carol, and Patricia. As for her career, Mary Higgins Clark is currently a writer, but in 1946 she began working for Remington Rand in New York City as an advertising assistant. From 1949-1950, Clark was a stewardess for Pan American Airlines. From 1965-1970, she was a
radio script writer and producer for Robert Jennings, and from 1970-1980, she worked for Aerial Communications in New York City as vice president, partner, creative director, and producer of radio programming. Starting in 1980, and continuing even today,
Clark is chair of the board and creative director for David J. Clark Enterprises, New York City. She was also the chair for the International Crime Writers Congress in 1988. Mary Higgins Clark began her writing career as a "newly widowed mother of five," and she became so popular that in 1989, her publisher Simon and Schuster signed her to a record-breaking $11.4 million contract to produce four novels and a short story
collection, and a $35 million contract for five novels and a memoir in 1992. Her success began with her first novel, "Where Are the Children?,"a best seller in 1975 that earned her over $100,000 in paperback royalties. Clark has even instilled he
r passion for suspense stories in her children, including her daughter Carol, who is also now a best selling novelist. (Gale Database: Contemporary Authors)
Mary Higgins Clark currently resides at two addresses: 2508 Cleveland Ave. Washington Township, NJ 07675 and 210 Central Park S. New York, NY 10017 Her Agent is Eugene H. Winick, McIntosh and Otis, Inc.,475 Fifth Ave. NY, NY 10017

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

"All Around the Town" is Mary Higgins Clark's "tenth consecutive page turner," and according to "Kirkus Reviews," is also her "ninth sure-fire bestseller." This 1992 novel directly followed Clark's smashingly successful "Loves Music Loves to Dan
ce," and was almost equally as successful, being a Literary Guild main selection and a fifteen-week "Publisher's Weekly" bestseller in cloth. Although "All Around the Town" was popular with its number of sales, it received mixed reviews from its critics
. Susan Toepfer of "People Weekly" says, "There are mystery writers who concoct more sophisticated plots, more realistic settings, more profound characters. But for sheer story-telling power-- and breathtaking pace-- Clark is without peer." Similarly,
"Publisher's Weekly" states that, "Clark wastes no time on extraneous details of character and atmosphere, but the very skills that make her a popular fast read mean that readers who look for nuance, flavor and shading even in their suspense thrillers wi
ll find their cravings unsatisfied. Still, of its efficient, machine-made type, this is a suspenseful pageturner." In regards to the plot, "Kirkus Reviews" notes that Clark "throws in the mystery of who really killed Grant, though her heart's not in it
: broad hints from the outset will tip off all but the most witless readers. No whodunit, then--but Clark's legion of fans, enthralled by her undeniable skill in pushing their buttons, won't even notice." None of the reviews seem to be blown away by C
lark's literary style, attention to detail, or her subtlety, but instead, her skill for intense suspence, and page turning action are the qualities which impress, and which the critics believe to be the key to Clark's success. Despite the minor critici
sm, most of the reception for "All Around the Town" was positive. "Publisher's Weekly" states, in redard to this novel, that "Effectively exploiting her canny knack for placing women and children in deadly peril, Clark has pulled out all the stops in he
r newest effort." In accordance with this review, "Kirkus Reviews" states that "Clark returns to what she does best: using a threatened child to grab you by the throat and shake well." Clark's reputation for being a "popular fast read" is reaffirmed in
the "People Weekly" Review in which Toepfer says, "Clark successfully and skillfully juggles all plot lines. But first time readers should be alerted: A new Clark requires a clear calendar, a baby-sitter and/or a long flight, because these are tales to
be read in one sitting, no interruptions, case closed."
SOURCES of reviews used above:
*-Susan Toepfer. People Weekly, June 15, 1992 v37 n23 p28(1)
*-Publisher's Weekly, March 30, 1992 v239 n16 p91(2)
*-Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 1992 (From "Books In Print" on Virgo.
*-Publisher's Weekly, Dec. 7, 1992 (From "Books In Print" on Virgo.
-Booklist v88-Apr.15 '92-p.1483[51-250] -Books v6-Sept.'92-p.17+[51-250] -Book World (Washington Post) v22-Jun.7'92-p.8[51-250] -Kirkus Reviews v60-Apr.1'92-p.410[251-500] -Los Angeles Book Review May 10'92-p.8[51-250] -New York Times Book Review May 10'92-p.23[51-250] -New York Times Late Edition v141-Jun.4'92-pc18[501+] -Wall Street Journal v219-Jun1'92-pA10[51-250] -Arm Cahir Detective v26-Fall'93-p20[51-250] -Arm Chair Detective v27-Spring'94-p218[1-50] -Kliatt v27-May'93-p4[251-500]

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

No subsequent reception was found with this particular novel.

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

Mary Higgins Clark has become known among critics as the "Queen of Suspense," and "America's best selling suspense writer" (Pelzer). She has authored fourteen best sellers, with over thirty-five million copies in
print in the United States alone. "All Around the Town," published in 1992, was Clark's ninth bestseller, and an immediate success among both readers and critics. By May twentieth, 1992, it appeared on Publisher's Weekly "Hardcover Fiction Bestseller L
ist," at number five, and by August tenth of the same year, "All Around the Town" had climbed its way up to number two. It remained on the list for an impressive sixteen weeks (Book Wire), and became a Literary Guild main selection. The novel was praised
in publications such as Publisher's Weekly, Kirus Reviews, People Weeky, Booklist, Library Journal, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Clark's critics praised the novel's high level of suspense (Stasio), and Clark's ability to "successfull
y and skillfully juggle all the plot lines," but the majority of the novel's praise was in regards to the speed in which the plot develops, hailing "All Around the Town" a "quick and easy to read page turner" (Lamphier). Susan Toepfer of People Weekly wr
ites, "for sheer story-telling power -- and breathtaking pace -- Clark is without peer."
Clark is famous for her "canny knack for placing women and children in deadly peril" (Publisher's Weekly). Kirkus Reviews claims that in "All Around the Town," "Clark returns to what she does best: using a threatened child (this time, a regressive colleg
e-student traumatized by a childhood kidnapping) to grab you by the throat and shake well." The key to Clark's popularity though, according to several critics, is her technique. The Washington Post describes Clark as "a master storyteller who builds her
taught suspense in a limited time frame." The Post goes on to explain that there is a kind of "Mary Higgins formula" that readers both expect and enjoy: "There are no ambiguities in any Clark book. We know whom and what to root for, and we do. Similar
ly, we boo and hiss or gasp when the author wants us to. Clark is a master manipulater. Her style is to write about terror lurking beneath the surface of everyday life." Clark's readers seem to agree with this opinion saying, "Mary Higgins Clark is my
favorite author. Whenever I begin one of her books, I know that I'm not going to be able to put it down" (MHC webpage), and "I love Mary Higgins Clark's style of writing. It's always exciting and easy to read" (MHC webpage). Clark's novels can be compa
red to those of authors Sue Grafton and Sidney Sheldon, both of whom are also successful mystery writers. Grafton and Sheldon's styles are similar to Clark's in that they are light, easy, quick to read, suspenseful page turners. Mary Higgins Clark's web
page lists these authors as "If you enjoy reading novels by Mary Higgins Clark, you should also check out [Sidney Sheldon, Sue Grafton, etc,]. Even Danielle Steele was on this list, probably because she too specializes in quick, easy reads.
Clark uses the popular literary genre, the novel of mystery and suspense, to explore contemporary social issues and the reality of evil in the lives of ordinary people. Common reoccurring themes in Clark's novels consist mainly of the consequences of cri
me on innocent victims, and how crime forces its victims to confront their fears and the terror of the past. They all confront current social issues, ranging frorm capital punishment to child abuse, or as in the case of "All Around the Town," the issues
of kidnapping, child molestation, and multiple personality disorder. Clark even took a course in parapsychology at New York's School of Social Research. In specific regards to "All Around the Town," Clark got the idea of writing about a young girl with
multiple personality disorder from a friend of her daughter Carol. The friend was an art therapist from the National Center for Treatment of Dissociative Disorders in Denver, specializing in the treatment of multiple personality disorder. The friend as
ked Clark to sign a book for oone of her patients. When Clark asked for the name of who to address the book to, the girl hesitated and replied, "Now which one of her personalities reads your book?" This comment aroused Clarks interest, and led to her wr
iting "All Around the Town."
When Mary Higgins Clark's long time publicist and good friend, Lisl Cade, asked Clark what she thought the secret of her popularity was, Clark answered, "Readers identify with my characters. I write about people going about their daily lives, not looking
for trouble, who are suddenly plunged into menacing situations." Clark believes that the ability for readers to relate to her characters, plays a large role in her high number of sales (Cade). When presented with the question "You are known as ?The Que
en of Suspense.' What do you consider the essence of your talent?" Clark answered, "Being a storyteller." Clark continued saying, "Isaac Bashevis Singer, who was a dedicated suspense reader, made a simple, but profound observation on receiving the Myst
ery Writers of America award as Mystery Reader of the Year. He said that a writer must think of himself or herself primarily as a storyteller. Every book or story should figuratively begin with the words ?once upon a time.' It is true now as it was in
the long ago days of wandering minstrels, that when these words are uttered, the room becomes quiet, everyonne draws closer to the fire and the magic begins."
Born of Irish decent, Clark considers her heritage an important influence on her writing, noting that the Irish are, by nature, storytellers. Clark grew up in the Bronx, where her father was the owner of Higgins Bar and Grill. Clark describes how when s
he was ten years old, she had "a terrible shock." Coming home from early mass one morning, she found a crowd of neighbors standing outside the house. Her father had died in his sleep. Clark says that "His sudden death jolted me into awareness of the fr
agility of life. My mother's example [who raised Clark and her two brothers alone] taught me resilience. The characters in my books are resilient and resourceful. When calamity strikes, they carry on." Clark also attributes her first successful story
to another one of her lifetime experiences. After working for an advertising agency, Clark decided that she wanted to see the world and signed up as a Pan Am stewardess. Her run was Europe, Africa, and Asia. Clark describes how she was "in a revolution
in Syria and on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain went down." She says that in creating the story "Stowaway," she thought of her experience on that flight and gave her imaginatiton "free rein." She thought, "Suppose the stewar
dess finds an eighteen year old member of the Czech underground hiding on the plane as it is about to leave." "Stowaway" took six years and forty rejection slips before she sold it to Extension magazine in 1956 for one hundred dollars. Clark framed that
first letter of acceptance.
Since that first accepted story, Mary Higgins Clark has experienced one success after another. Clark has nine honorary doctorates. She has achieved "The Woman of Achievement" award from the Federation of Woman's Clubs in New Jersey, the 1992 "Irish Wom
an of the Year" award from the Irish American Heritage and Cultural Week Committee of the Board of Education of the city of New York, the 1993 Gold Metal of Honor from the American-Irish Historical Society and in 1994, the Spirit of Achievement Award from
the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and the National Arts Club inaugural Gold Metal in Education. In April 1997, she received the Horatiio Alger Award. She was made a Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, a papal honor.
She is also a Dame of Malta and a Dame of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. She was awarded thte Grand Prix de Literature of France in 1980. She was Chairman of the International Crime Congress, held in New York in May 1998. She was the 1987 president
of the Mystery Writers of America and, for many years, on the Board of Directors of the Mystery Writers of America.
Mary Higgins Clark's novels, including "All Around the Town," are still popular today, in 1999. The reason for its continuing success is that the qualities which made Clark's novel popular in 1992, are still desired reading qualities today. For example,
in 1999, multiple personality disorder and child abuse (two main topics of "All Around the Town") are still intriguing topics that are popular, current social issues. Unfortunately, these issues will probably not go away any time soon, so all generation
and all ages to come will continue to be interested by them. Clark's fame for her spell-binding plots, fast-paced story line, and light, easy reading, continue to grab reader after reader, seven years after its first publishing

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