What others say about Susan Stinson and her work:
"I am an enormous fan of Susan Stinson's work, and, as a fan, consider it my duty to help more and more people know about its wonders: 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 (often neglected) intersection of body and soul. She writes extraordinary love stories, with intelligence and generosity and a wild imagination."
Elizabeth McCracken, author The Giant's House (National Book Award finalist)
"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, author The Lovely Bones
"Venus of Chalk is a classic road novel, full of unexpected revelations and parallels between Carline's old world and her new, but her interior and physical life are like nothing you've ever read before. "
"Like her characters, Stinson is “chronically interested” in every aspect of life and her incredible eye for detail is astonishing and translates movingly into the pages of this wonderful novel."
"The magic of this elegant novel is that it embraces both the surreal and the so real with sublime charm."
Richard Labonte, Book Marks
"Stinson's prose style is reminiscent of some independent films--quiet, plain, quirky and true."
The Women's Times
"...one of the best books of the year."
Midwest Book Review
"Susan Stinson uses her exceptional literary vision to take the readers along on a wild bus ride of our own, all the while facing ourselves, and returning, renewed, to our extraordinary lives."
This Way Out
Books (and all)
Spider In a Tree
SPIDER IN A TREE is about eighteenth century preacher Jonathan Edwards, his family, and those enslaved in his household in Northampton, MA a New England town he made famous for piety before its people rejected him.
Available from Small Beer Press!
Read the prologue of the book at the link above. Video of the author reading and links to more excerpts, essays and interviews about the books, as well.
Jonathan Edwards is considered America's most brilliant theologian. He was also a slave owner. SPIDER IN A TREE tells the story of the years he spent as a preacher in eighteenth century Northampton, Massachusetts, a town Mr. Edwards made famous for piety before its people rejected him. In his famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Mr. Edwards compared a person dangling a spider over a hearth to God holding a sinner over the fires of hell. Here, spiders and insects preach back. No one voice, no matter how mighty, drowns out all others. There is Leah, a young West African woman enslaved in the Edwards household, who is drawn to Calvinism; Edwards' young cousins Joseph and Elisha, whose father kills himself in fear for his soul; and Sarah, Edwards' wife, who is visited by ecstasy. Ordinary grace, human failings and extraordinary convictions combine in unexpected ways to animate this old New England tale.
Library As Incubator Project Series
Series of posts about being Writer in Residence at Forbes Library in Northampton, MA for the innovative blog about libraries as places to incubate art of all kinds.
The Letter Q
Letters by Queer Writers to Their Younger Selves. 6d4 authors, including Gregory Maguire, David Leavitt, Jewelle Gomez, Carole Desanti. Half the proceeds go to The Trevor Project.
Venus of Chalk
Venus of Chalk, Susan's most recent novel, was published by Firebrand Books in 2004. It is the story unlikely companions on a fast bus to Texas.
VENUS OF CHALK was one of top ten fiction books of 2004 in Richard Labonte's Book Marks column.
Winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award in Fiction, Martha Moody is a speculative western, embracing both ordinary and magical details of women's lives in the old west. It is, also, an old-fashioned love story. In precise language that dips into the sensuous delights of the flesh and the palate, the reader witnesses the love in Amanda Linger's life.
"A tale of longing and self identification and reconciliation. Amanda Linger pines for shop owner Martha Moody whose girth, sensuous folds of flesh and loving caresses pull Amanda out of the stasis of a loveless marriage...MARTHA MOODY is a tender exquisitely rendered story with strong characters, a sense of love and magic surrounding them, and one incredible cow." Icon Magazine, Toronto
Fat Girl Dances with Rocks
It's the summer of drinking and driving, disco and diets, fake IDs and geology, and fat 17-year-old Char is wondering if she is animal, vegetable, or mineral. What does it mean when your best friend French-braids your hair, kisses you on the lips, and leaves town? Char gets a summer job in a nursing home, and meets people with bodies and abilities as various as the textures of the rocks her friend Felice collects. Fat Girl Dances with Rocks is a novel about the many shapes of beauty: the fold of a belly, the green swelling of seedlings, the sharp edges of granite, obsidian, and flint. Fat Girl Dances with Rocks is a coming of age story. It is a coming out story, and for Char, it is a story of coming into her own body - all the way to the edges of her skin.
The Public Humanist
Here's a link to the short essays I've written for the blog of the Massachusetts Humanities Council.
Monthly Bookswap with Bob Flaherty on WHMP 1400 AM radio
Link to Susan and Bob talking about The Girls Club by Sally Bellerose
Catch Bookswap monthly on WHMP radio, Northampton, MA.
1400,1600,1240,96.9fm, also livestreamed at WHMP.com