Sue Miller was born in Chicago in 1943. She is the bestselling author of several novels including The Good Mother, Inventing the Abbotts, The Lake Shore Limited, The Arsonist and the acclaimed memoir The Story of My Father.
She serves as the chair of PEN, New England. Sue Miller is now a professor at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she teaches creative writing classes.
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An Interview with Sue Miller
Since The Good Mother was published in 1986, your novels
have chronicled a tumultuous time in American family life. What's drawn you to
Probably the tumult itself. I think it's fair to say that's what a fiction writer is most often drawn to -- tumult of one kind or another; and in that sense the family in the last quarter century seems to me to be among the most fascinating of human social or economic inventions--more than business or real estate, no matter what Tom Wolfe says, more than the church or the law or the hospital. It is of course, open to and impinged on by all of those -- another great draw for the writer -- and also by belief and passion and irrationality and need.
It seems both more fragile and more important an institution than it ever has been, more multifarious, more invented as it goes along, more necessary. It's been too easily dismissed as the subject or setting for serious fiction; American fiction in particular was for a while pleased to think it had moved beyond the family, left it behind as a kind of low topic, suited only to women and children. But it comes around, again and again, as it has throughout fiction's ...
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