Sue Miller was born in Chicago in 1943, the second of four
children. She describes herself as 'a reader, a painter,
an inventor of solitary projects, the quiet child in a
fairly boisterous family'. When she was 16 she went to
Radcliffe College, Harvard. She says that she was
'simply too young to have done this... overwhelmed, I
stumbled unhappily around Harvard for four years'. She
graduated at the age of 20 and was married 2 months
later. She worked at a variety of jobs while supporting
her husband through medical school and finding as much
time as she could to write. Their son, Ben, was born in
She and her husband separated in 1970 and for the next 13 years she juggled being a single parent in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with working in a day care center, taking in boarders, studying the piano and writing. In 1977 she started writing in earnest - her productivity directly proportional to her ability to win grants and fellowships. In 1983 she won a Bunting Fellowship at Radcliff College and a year later a grant from the Massachusetts Art Council. This allowed her to focus almost entirely on her writing for a year, which resulted in her first novel, The Good Mother (1986), which became an international bestseller.
Bibliography: The Good Mother (1986), Inventing the Abbotts (1987 - stories), Family Pictures (1990), For Love (1993), The Distinguished Guest (1995), While I Was Gone (1999), The World Below (2001), The Story of My Father (2004 - nonfiction), Lost in the Forest (2005)
This article is from the August 2, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.
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