Mary Matthews was born in Bury, Lancashire, England. She has B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Cambridge University and an M.A. in Religion from Smith College and is currently pursuing Arabic language studies at the University of Massachusetts. She has taught high school English and Latin, college English, and continuing education courses in the psychology of religion. Ms. Matthews has traveled in the Middle East and now lives in Amherst, MA, with her husband. They have three children and three grandchildren.