Sue Miller biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Sue Miller
Photo: Debi Milligan

Sue Miller

Sue Miller Biography

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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Interview

Sue Miller discusses her various books and shares her thoughts on such topics as the institution of marriage and how people (feminists in particular) have responded to her various works.

Since The Good Mother was published in 1986, your novels have chronicled a tumultuous time in American family life. What's drawn you to this material?
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 history.

You have been ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Sue Miller at BookBrowse
The Arsonist jacket The Lake Shore Limited jacket The Senator's Wife jacket Lost In The Forest jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Sue Miller but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Elizabeth Berg

    Elizabeth Berg

    Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, including Open House (an Oprah's Book Club selection), Talk Before Sleep, and The Year of Pleasures, as well as the short story collection The Day I Ate Whatever I... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Lost In The Forest

    Try:
    The Year of Pleasures
    by Elizabeth Berg

  • Ethan Canin

    Ethan Canin

    Highly regarded as both a novelist and a short story writer, Ethan Canin has ranged in his career from the short stories of Emperor of the Air to the novellas of The Palace Thief, from the short novel Carry Me Across the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Lost In The Forest

    Try:
    America America
    by Ethan Canin

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Book Discussion
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