Mary F. Pols (Author of Accidentally on Purpose)Mary Pols is the author of “Accidentally on Purpose: The True Tale of a Happy Single Mother,” originally published in June 2008 by Ecco/Harper Collins, now available in paperback from Harper Perennial. A native of Maine, Pols has spent most of her professional life as a journalist in California.
She reviews film for Time.com and MSN.Movies. For many years, she was the movie critic for the Contra Costa Times, and her reviews could be found in the San Jose Mercury News and the Oakland Tribune. Pols has written for Time Magazine, The New York Times, Self, Wondertime, MoreIntelligentLife.com, Glamour.com, the Times of London, Red Magazine and Grazia. Her memoir was optioned by BermanBraun and has been developed for a television series by CBS, airing now on Monday nights at 8:30, right after “How I Met Your Mother.”
Prior to becoming a movie critic she worked as a news reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times and Los Angeles Daily News. Her journalism awards include a first place prize from the ASNE, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, for column writing. The highlight of her news writing career was traveling to Ireland to write about the Northern Ireland Peace agreement. Having grandparents named Dolan, Duffy and Sinnott probably had something to do with her fascination with the subject.
A graduate of Duke University (with a BA in art history) and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Pols was a Knight Fellow at Stanford in 2005-2006. She has taught movie criticism at UC Berkeley.
The youngest of six children, Pols grew up with a philosophy professor for a father and a mother who put more energy into her studies of art history than 20 of her fellow students at Bowdoin College combined. Edward Pols gave his daughter C.S. Lewis and Edith Wharton while Eileen Pols gave her Pauline Kael and tours of seemingly every church and museum from Florence to Connemara.
Pols lives in Northern California with her son Dolan and Androscoggin the Maine Coon Cat. Matt lives close by. She’s working on her next book, a novel.
Matthew & Mary's Wedding Day: Part 1 - Downton Abbey - Season 3
Accidently On Purpose...coming to a bookstore near you
Hello Storked! I got Storked! It was definitely completely contrary to anything I had planned for myself. The simplest beginning is: Girl walks into a bar. No, make that woman walks into a bar. Aging woman. She's with great friends, but she's essentially a lonely woman.
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Thank you! Bay Area film critic Pols chronicles her unexpected pregnancy and journey into not-quite-single motherhood.
let me see what you have
He was unemployed, seemingly aimless, and 10 years younger than she. Definitely not boyfriend material. She'd come out to the bar with friends that night fully prepared to end up on their couch, but there she was, leaving the bar with him, going back to his place, finding a condom, and realizing the next morning that it had stayed, unopened, on the floor. At 39, intellectual, solo-flying, and nearly broke, Mary Pols got pregnant. Despite many obstacles--not the least of which is the shock of her Irish Catholic family--Mary perseveres and even manages to create a true friendship with the father of her child. With wry and funny prose, Mary takes us from the first drunken night to the first diaper change in this hip and honest story of unconventional motherhood.
At thirty-nine, movie critic Mary Pols knew she wanted to have a baby. But never—not in a million years—on her own. Pols spends the ensuing weeks despairing over everything, from the financial nightmare of single motherhood to the end of her hopes for a traditional life. Not the least of her worries is finding the right way to drop the bombshell on loved ones, including her five siblings and eighty-four-year-old father, who has a German temper and an Irish Catholic attitude toward babies out of wedlock. Yet faced with the frightening, lonely truth that this might be her only chance at motherhood, she plunges ahead with the pregnancy and an Odd Couple version of a co-parenting relationship that looks like one more disaster in a long line of romantic disappointments. With humor, insight, and compelling honesty, Pols reveals what it means to compromise in the name of love and to find joy in an accidental life, suddenly brimming with purpose. I found the author of this memoir to be alternately needy and strident, which was off-putting.