Born and early-reared in Virginia, Mary Molinary moved in 1968 with her family to Memphis, Tennessee. She has had many jobs, including college administrator; editor and seller of classified ads at alternative newsweeklies; greenhouse and nursery worker; housesitter; legal assistant; reader for the blind; physical therapy assistant — and through it all, bartender and waitress. She earned a B.A. in Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology from the University of Arizona and an M.F.A. from the University of Memphis. She currently lives in Tucson, Arizona.