Through an ardent faith in the written word Susan Stinson is a novelist who translates a mundane world into the most poetic of possibilities.

-Alice Sebold

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I am a novelist and poet whose work centers on the lives of characters who love rules yet cannot live within them. These stories are fueled by beauty that transgresses conventions of body size, sexuality and historical identity. My books are about ideology and disorder, continuity and disruption, bodies and souls.

Current Work

Susan 's novel, Spider in a Tree, is about Northampton, Massachusetts in the time of Jonathan Edwards, the eighteenth century preacher and theologian best known for his sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God." Leah and Saul, enslaved in the Edwards household, are central to the story. Susan lives across Bridge Street from the Northampton cemetery where Jonathan Edwards and many of his family have memorials and graves. Time spent in that beautiful, place inspired the book.

Susan is now at work on a novel set in seventeenth century Connecticut. It is inspired by events in the life of Elizabeth Tuttle, Jonathan Edwards's grandmother. She has had fellowships at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland and the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester in support of writing and research for this novel. In fall 2017, she is teaching Fiction Writing 1 at Amherst College.

Susan Stinson
PO Box 1272
Northampton, MA

Selected Work

From Small Beer Press! "Like Jonathan Edwards, Stinson reads the natural world as well as Scripture, searching for meaning. But instead of the portents of an angry god, what she finds there is something numinous, complicated, and radiantly human." -Alison Bechdel
Single minded, indomitable Carline is on a fast bus to Texas. This is one ride you won't want to miss." -Alison Smith
I can think of no-one who writes with more love, passion, and precision about the pleasures of the body and the pleasures of the soul, and that nebulous intersection of body and soul.-Elizabeth McCracken
Susan Stinson's first novel is full of big, beautiful language and her main character, Char, is one of the best teenaged heroines I've ever met.-Judith Katz
Blog Posts
Blog posts about being Writer in Residence at Forbes Library
Letter to my young, queer self. As seen on The View.
Novel Excerpts
Blog Posts
Essays on Teaching as Community; Jonathan Edwards; Henry James; Fiction and Misdirection; and Poetry in Northampton for the Public Humanist, hosted by the Massachusetts Humanities Council.


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