By Emily Temple, August 30, 2022, 9:40am
Ray Bradbury met his first girlfriend—and his future wife—in a bookstore. But they didn’t lock eyes over the same just-selected novel, or bump into each other in a narrow aisle, sending books and feelings flying.
It was a warm afternoon in April 1946, and 25-year-old Ray Bradbury—an up-and-coming pulp fiction writer—was wearing a trench coat and carrying a briefcase while he scanned the shelves at Fowler Brothers Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles.
Naturally, Marguerite McClure—Maggie—who worked at the bookstore, “was immediately suspicious.” Someone had been stealing books, but hadn’t yet been caught. So she struck up a conversation. “I expected him to slam his briefcase down on a pile of books and make off with a few,” she said. “Instead, he told me he was a writer and invited me to have a cup of coffee with him.”
Coffee became lunch became dinner became romance; Maggie was the first woman Ray had ever dated, but he managed all right, and they were married on September 27, 1947.