Born Mary Zane Hickcox on January 2, 1934 to the Reverend Edward S. and Jean C. Hickcox of Southbury, CT, Zane graduated from the Chaffee School in 1952, earned a B.A. from Middlebury College in 1956, and an M.A. from Columbia University in 1960. In 1965 she married Norman Kotker, also a writer, who died of complications from multiple sclerosis in 1999.
Zane worked as a researcher, teacher, reporter, editor, and writer for some twenty years in New York City. She is the author of critically-acclaimed novels: Bodies in Motion (1972); A Certain Man (1976); White Rising (1981); Try to Remember (1997); and The Inner Sea, A Novel of the Year 100 (2014). She also published a poetry chapbook, Old Ladies in the Locker Room and Pool (2011); a novella, Goodnight Ladies (2016); and a collection of short stories, The Boy Who Walked to Distant Lands (2018). As Maggie Strong, she wrote Mainstay: For the Well Spouse of the Chronically Ill in 1988. With readers of Mainstay, she founded the Well Spouse Association (wellspouse.org).
She has been the recipient of accolades, including from National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Center for the Book. In 2019, she was a Pushcart Prize nominee. She enjoyed residencies at various writer’s colonies. A novel, Queen of the Mountain, will be published posthumously.
She leaves her beloved children David Edward Kotker of Wendell and Ariel Kotker of Easthampton; her brother Edward S. Hickcox and his wife Jiemei Li and their son James Zhong of Victoria and Vancouver, Canada; her nieces and nephews and their spouses: Margaret and Andrew Hebert of Easthampton, Julie Rak and Danielle Fuller of Alberta, Canada, Samuel Hickcox and Catherine D’Anjou and their children Lucy and Hazel of Nova Scotia, Canada, Raphael Atlas of Northampton, David and Beth Atlas and their children Jake, Samantha, and Elana of Westport, CT, and Peter Atlas and Tim Hennigan of Charlestown, MA; along with many other family members and friends so dear to her heart.
Come spring or early summer, an outdoor memorial gathering will be held at her home in Northampton. Contributions can be made to wellspouse.org or Forbes Library, Northampton.
Please check back here for updates about gathering.
In this time of covid, since we can’t gather now, we’d love to have you share your memories. Please feel free to comment in the Guestbook below, and send your photos to [email protected] and we will post them in Remembering Zane in Pictures. Thank you.