Susan  Rivers

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Susan Rivers

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Susan Rivers began her writing career as a playwright, receiving the Julie Harris Playwriting Award and the New York Drama League Award, and working as an NEA Writer-in-Residence in San Francisco.

Her focus shifted to fiction with a move to the Carolinas in 1995. Rivers' debut novel, The Second Mrs. Hockaday, was published by Algonquin Books in 2017. It was a People Magazine "Best New Books Pick" and a Woman's Day "Editor's Desk Pick" in 2017, as well as IndieNext, Library Reads and Winter OKRA Picks, and is a Women's National Book Association Great Group Reads 2018 Selection. The novel was a finalist for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize 2017 and the Southern Book Prize 2018. Rivers' next novel, Troublefield, is due out from Algon
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Susan Rivers The most obvious benefit of being a writer is having a strong identity. Jobs come and go for writers, as do the places where we live, work and raise o…moreThe most obvious benefit of being a writer is having a strong identity. Jobs come and go for writers, as do the places where we live, work and raise our children. Writing isn't a terribly lucrative profession for the most part, and financial stress can often force us to question our choices. But the one thing that doesn't change for me in good times or bad, whether I'm trying to survive in Northern California or North Carolina, is my very clear belief that I was put here to write and writing is what I must do. I have moments of self-doubt, of course, when I wonder if I'm doing the best writing I possibly can, but I never doubt that writing is who I am. It's the whole megillah.(less)
Susan Rivers Be a good listener. I can't stress how important this is. In order to write about people, you have to be familiar with how they communicate, and in or…moreBe a good listener. I can't stress how important this is. In order to write about people, you have to be familiar with how they communicate, and in order to do that, you have to encourage them to talk (or be nearby when they're talking to someone else!) I never go anywhere without carrying a small notebook and a pen, and I write down everything I hear that is distinctive or seems to strike a note of authenticity. These brief notes often generate larger ideas when I write.(less)
Average rating: 3.81 · 7,417 ratings · 1,158 reviews · 1 distinct workSimilar authors
The Second Mrs. Hockaday

3.81 avg rating — 7,417 ratings — published 2017 — 7 editions
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Be the Writer On Whom Nothing Is Wasted

In all the fiction-writing workshops I've taught I've tried to make the point to my students that what happens in their stories, the plot events that take place and the crises or challenges that arise, are never as important as what happens between the principal characters. Over a century ago Henry James made the argument to would-be novelists that the ‘story’ of a novel should not be an entity di Read more of this blog post »
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Published on June 09, 2019 07:22 Tags: character-v-plot, henry-james, turn-of-the-screw

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Susan Rivers is now friends with Erin
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Susan Rivers rated a book really liked it
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
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I LOVED THIS BOOK. In The Five, Hallie Rubenhold crafts detailed profiles of each one of the women who were murdered by Jack the Ripper in the Whitechapel slum in London. In the process, her meticulous research exposes the economic forces, social bia ...more
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Capital by John Lanchester
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This engaging and far-ranging view of lives in modern London is viewed through the prism of one street of Victorian rowhouses. Pepys Road has mostly weathered the tides of changing fortunes, classes and ethnicities but the stresses are beginning to s ...more
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
" Good to hear, Meg. I think Barker is a very strong writer. "
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Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
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The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
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Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley
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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
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The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna
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My stars, this woman can write.

While nothing spectacular happens early in Forna's book, it has such a strong sense of place and such a highly-tuned atmosphere that I was hooked from the beginning. Also, the prose is effortlessly good, and that appea
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Susan Rivers answered Goodreads's question: Susan  Rivers
I'm often inspired by what I experience in the natural world; I'm a fanatical gardener, and the cycle of seasons and growth in my southern garden offers a wealth of themes and images. But I also hear powerful truths in what people say, in how they ex See Full Answer
More of Susan's books…
“We are no longer blessed with innocence, nor do we deserve to be. Paradise may have been lost, but paradise is a bad bargain. It costs too much. It conceals serpents, and is littered with graves.”
Susan Rivers

“Our enemy is [. . .] and all people like him, who never question their motives or doubt their desires. They are put on this earth to cause misery, because what they take so freely for themselves comes always at great cost to others.”
Susan Rivers, The Second Mrs. Hockaday

“(How Southern I am, in that respect: still fighting my war when the battles have been lost.)”
Susan Rivers, The Second Mrs. Hockaday

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