“Clifford Henderson writes with depth and ease. Her writing gives you the sense that her muse was not only visiting, but had moved in.”

– Sam Martino, Out in Jersey

Novels by Clifford Mae Henderson

Perfect Little Worlds

Rest Home Runaways

Maye’s Request


Spanking New


The Middle of Somewhere


About Clifford Mae

Baffled by reality, Clifford Mae Henderson has fashioned a life where she can spend most of her time in make believe. Her novels have garnered numerous awards including a Foreword Magazine Gold Medal Book of the Year, an Independent Publisher’s Book Award, a Golden Crown Literary Award, a Rainbow Award, and several Lesbian Fiction Reader’s Choice Awards. When not writing, Clifford Mae and her partner of twenty five years run the Fun Institute, a school of improv and solo performance where they teach the art of collective pretending. They are the 2014 recipients of the prestigious Gail Rich Award for their cultural contributions to Santa Cruz County. Clifford Mae’s forthcoming novel, Perfect Little Worlds, is due out in June of 2018.


Recent Thoughts



On Saturday, I evicted someone from their home. Or I think I did. It’s a little hard to tell when home is a blanket, a single shoe, a filthy t-shirt, five large Budweiser cans, a yellow disposable razor, two Kit Kat wrappers, and a used syringe. All of it under a...

3rd Wednesday of the Month

3rd Wednesday of the Month

I’m not sure if I have nothing to say—or too much to say. Either way, I’m on an informal hiatus from writing. The words just kind of stopped. Maybe it was the shock of how quickly Covid changed my life: robbing me of theater, my job, my rituals. Or maybe it’s the...

Civil Inattention in the Era of ZOOM

Civil Inattention in the Era of ZOOM

I practiced civil inattention long before I knew what it was called. For instance: as a kid growing up in Philly, I took public transportation a lot and regularly pretended the person sitting next to me wasn’t picking their nose/crying/talking to themselves. For...

“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.” G.K. Chesterton


“All in all, (Maye’s Request) is an uneasy reunion of an unorthodox family, further complicated by a shocking adolescent secret that Jake has been keeping from Jen for decades.”

– Richard LaBonte, Book Marks

“(In Maye’s Request) Clifford Henderson takes the reader on a frightening journey of physical, emotional and spiritual illness to a place of love, enlightenment, healing and forgiveness.”

– Sam Martino, Out in Jersey

“(Henderson’s) writing gives you the sense that her muse was not only visiting, but had moved in.

– Sam Martino, Out in Jersey

“Henderson grabs her readers in a firm grip and never lets go. The Middle of Somewhere is a wonderful laugh-out-loud read filled with pathos, hope, and new beginnings.”

– RLynne, Just About Write

“Spanky, the narrator of this delicious novel, [Spanking New], is an unborn baby who can flit from one character’s thoughts and emotions to another’s – a storytelling perspective that, from a less able author, might have come off as a diaper-load of a gimmick. …Already a “best” of 2010.”

– Richard LaBonte, Book Marks

“While the author addresses serious issues, [Spanking New] is fun, fun, fun!  The playfulness, curiosity and fresh naivety as portrayed through the eyes of the storyteller is refreshing and often humorous.   It is pure genius on Henderson’s part to write from this perspective.”

– Anita Kelly, LGBT Coordinator, Muhlenberg College

“Funny and touching, this story held my interest and kept me turning the pages.  Ms Henderson’s novel is brilliantly written and full of delightful observation. It would make a wonderful movie in the style of ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’.”


“A literary gem…. Humour mixed with pathos is a powerful and memorable combination. The icebergs and eskimos conversation is one I will take away and hold close to my heart.”




Clifford Mae & Dixie as Earl & Bubba
A short clip from “The Grapes of Laugh,” a completely improvised play by Loose Cannon Theater, the improv troupe which Clifford Mae and Dixie artistic direct.
vid2 “Crystal”
An improvised story by Clifford Mae—part of “Nightfall,” another show by Loose Cannon Theater.


“Power in the Blood”
Actor/playwright Clifford Mae Henderson, in a 1999 performance of “Power in the Blood,” a monologue she wrote.