Minot was born in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in Manchester, Massachusetts. She has four sisters and three brothers. She graduated from Concord Academy and then attended Brown University, where she studied writing and painting; in 1983 she graduated from Columbia University School of the Arts with an M.F.A. in creative writing.
Minot's first book, Monkeys, won the 1987 Prix Femina Étranger. In 1984 she received a Pushcart Prize for her story Hiding, and in 2011 she was awarded an O. Henry Award for her story Pole, Pole.
Minot wrote a book of poems, Poems 4 a.m., in 2002.
In Minot's 2014 novel Thirty Girls, Jane, an American journalist, goes to Uganda to report on Kony, a militant rebel leader who kidnaps children from their schools and turns them into soldiers, concubines and drug addicts. Minot simultaneously tells the story of thirty girls who are kidnapped and brutally treated by Kony's followers. Jane visits the convent where the girls were taken and meets Esther, one of the thirty victims.
Minot has co-authored two screenplays that have been made into films: Stealing Beauty (1996) with Bernardo Bertolucci, and Evening (based on her novel of the same name, 2007), written with Michael Cunningham.
Themes and criticism
Sexuality and the difficulties of romantic relationships are a constant theme in Minot's work. Her second book, Lust and Other Stories, focuses on "the relations between men and women in their twenties and thirties having difficulty coming together and difficulty breaking apart". Reviewing her novella Rapture in The Atlantic Monthly, James Marcus notes that "Sex and the single girl have seldom been absent from Susan Minot's fiction", and Dave Welch at Powells.com identifies one of Minot's themes as "the emotional safeguards within family and romantic relations that hold people apart". About Lust, Jill Franks observes that Minot
"begins with short, simple sentences, building gradually to longer ones to create the inevitable conclusion: men don't love like women do. Her logic appears in simple two-or three-liners that capture a sense of futility."
Novels and stories
- Monkeys. New York: Dutton, 1986. ISBN 978-0-525-24342-7
- Lust and Other Stories. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. ISBN 978-0-395-48888-1
- Folly: A Novel. New York: Chivers North American, 1993. ISBN 978-0-7927-1565-8
- Evening. New York: Knopf, 1998. ISBN 978-0-375-40037-7
- Rapture. New York: Knopf, 2002. ISBN 978-0-375-41327-8
- Thirty Girls. New York: Knopf, 2014. ISBN 978-0-307-26638-5
- Stealing Beauty. With Bernardo Bertolucci. New York: Grove Press, 1996. ISBN 978-0-8021-3492-9
- Evening. With Michael Cunningham. 2007.
- Poems 4 A.M. New York: Knopf, 2003. ISBN 978-0-375-70955-5
- "Author Spotlight: Susan Minot". Knopf Doubleday. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- "Susan Minot". Random House. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- Weber, Bruce. "For Art, Not Profit". New York Times. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
- "The O.Henry Prize Stories". Random House. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
- Rocco, Fiammetta (February 14, 2014). "Child, Slave, Soldier: 'Thirty Girls,' by Susan Minot". The New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "Susan Minot". New York University. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "Faculty and Visiting Faculty". Stony Brook University. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "Susan Minot". University of Tampa. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "Susan Minot". The New Yorker. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- Marcus, James (February 2002). "New and Noteworthy: Rapture". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- Welch, Dave (13 February 2002). "Back in Bed with Susan Minot". Powells.com. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- Franks, Jill. "Susan (Anderson) Minot Biography". Retrieved 2008-08-30.