October 19, 1960 |
Riverside, California, U.S.
Susan Straight has published six novels, a novel for young readers and a children's book. She has also written essays and articles for numerous national publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation and Harper's Magazine, and is a frequent contributor to NPR and Salon.com. Her story "Mines," first published in Zoetrope All Story, was included in Best American Short Stories 2003.
Straight lives in Riverside, California. She has three daughters: Gaila (b. 1989), Delphine (b. 1991), and Rosette (b. 1995). Her oldest daughter graduated from Oberlin College. Her second daughter graduated from the University of Southern California. Her youngest daughter is now attending the University of Southern California.
Straight attended John W. North High School in Riverside, California and took classes at Riverside Community College while in high school. She went on to earn a scholarship to the University of Southern California and, in 1984, earned her M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst's MFA Program for Poets & Writers. She co-founded the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts program at University of California, Riverside, where she is currently a Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing and the director of the graduate program.
Awards and honors
- 2001 National Book Award for Fiction, finalist for Highwire Moon
- 2007 Lannan Literary Award (Fiction)
- 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award for short story "The Golden Gopher".
- 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Robert Kirsch Award.
- Aquaboogie: A Novel in Stories (1990) (Milkweed National Fiction Prize)
- I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots (1993)
- Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights (1995)
- The Gettin' Place (1997)
- Highwire Moon (2001) (finalist for the National Book Award)
- A Million Nightingales (2006)
- Take One Candle Light a Room (2010)
- Between Heaven and Here (2012)
Anthologized stories and essays
- Skin Deep: Black Women & White Women Write About Race (novel excerpt, "Tulsa, 1921") (1996)
- Race: An Anthology in the First Person (essay, "Letter to My Daughters") (1997)
- Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood (essay, "One Drip at a Time") (1999)
- When Race Becomes Real: Black and White Writers Confront Their Personal Histories (essay, "Country Music") (2002)
- Life As We Know It: A Collection of Personal Essays from Salon.com (essay, "Love Me, Love My Guns") (2003)
- Dog Is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World's Oldest Friendship (essay, "Brave and Noble Is the Preschool Dog") (2003)
- The Best American Short Stories 2003 (short story, "Mines") (2003)
- Some of My Best Friends: Writers on Interracial Friendships (essay, "Cartilage") (2004)
- Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race, and Themselves (essay, "The Belly Unbuttoned") (2005)
- The Cocaine Chronicles (short story, "Poinciana") (2005)
- I Married My Mother-in-law And Other Tales of In-laws We Can't Live With - And Can't Live Without (essay, "A Family You Can't Divorce") (2006)
- Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave (essay, "Reckless") (July 2007)
- Los Angeles Noir (story, "The Golden Gopher") (2007)
- The O. Henry Prize Stories 2007 (short story, "El Ojo de Agua") (2007)
- The Show I'll Never Forget: 50 Writers Relive Their Most Memorable Concertgoing Experience (essay, "The Funk Festival at Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, May 26, 1979") (2007)
- Little Women (afterword) (2004)
- Inlandia: A Literary Journey Through California's Inland Empire (introduction) (2006)
For younger readers
- Bear E. Bear, (1995)
- The Friskative Dog, (2007)
- "Mystery Writers of America Announces the 2008 Edgar Award Winners". 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- Carolyn Kellogg (April 11, 2014). "Jacket Copy: The winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are ...". LA Times. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- OFFICIAL WEBSITE
- Salon.com essays by Susan Straight
- UCR MFA Program in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts
- Straight's Introduction to the Inlandia anthology
- The UMass MFA Program for Poets & Writers