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.
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. In Spring 2019, she is teaching a class on Writing Historical Fiction at Amherst College.
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.
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