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Susan Straight (born October 19, 1960 in Riverside, Californiamarker) is an Americanmarker author and National Book Award finalist.


Susan Straight has published six novels, a novel for young readers and a children's book. She has also written essays and articles for numerous national publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation and Harper's Magazine, and is a frequent contributor to NPR and Her story "Mines," first published in Zoetrope All Story, was included in Best American Short Stories 2003. She won a Lannan Literary Award in 2007. She won a 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award for her short story "The Golden Gopher." She is a Professor at the University of California, Riversidemarker and lives in Riverside, Californiamarker with two of her three daughters, her oldest now attending Oberlin Collegemarker.

Academic career

As a student at Riverside Community College, Straight received encouragement to pursue her writing. She went on to earn a scholarship to the University of Southern Californiamarker and, in 1984, earned her M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's MFA Program for Poets & Writers. She co-founded the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts program at University of California, Riversidemarker, where she is currently teaching.



  • Aquaboogie: A Novel in Stories, (1990) (Milkweed National Fiction Prize)
  • I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots, (1993)
  • Blacker than a Thousand Midnights, (1995)
  • The Gettin' Place, (1997)
  • Highwire Moon, (2001) (finalist for the National Book Award)
  • A Million Nightingales, (2006)

Anthologized stories and essays

  • Skin Deep: Black Women & White Women Write About Race (novel excerpt, "Tulsa, 1921") (1996)
  • Race: An Anthology in the First Person (essay, "Letter to My Daughters") (1997)
  • Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood (essay, "One Drip at a Time") (1999)
  • Life As We Know It: A Collection of Personal Essays from (essay, "Love Me, Love My Guns") (2003)
  • Dog Is My Co-Pilot: Great Writers on the World's Oldest Friendship (essay, "Brave and Noble Is the Preschool Dog") (2003)
  • The Best American Short Stories 2003 (short story, "Mines") (2003)
  • Some of My Best Friends: Writers on Interracial Friendships (essay, "Cartilage") (2004)
  • Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race, and Themselves (essay, "The Belly Unbuttoned") (2005)
  • The Cocaine Chronicles (short story, "Poinciana") (2005)
  • I Married My Mother-in-law And Other Tales of In-laws We Can't Live With - And Can't Live Without (essay, "A Family You Can't Divorce") (2006)
  • Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave (essay, "Reckless") (July 2007)
  • Los Angeles Noir (story, "The Golden Gopher") (2007)
  • The O. Henry Prize Stories 2007 (short story, "El Ojo de Agua") (2007)
  • The Show I'll Never Forget: 50 Writers Relive Their Most Memorable Concertgoing Experience (essay, "The Funk Festival at Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, May 26, 1979") (2007)

As contributor

  • Little Women (afterword) (2004)
  • Inlandia: A Literary Journey Through California's Inland Empire (introduction) (2006)

For younger readers

  • Bear E. Bear, (1995)
  • The Friskative Dog, (2007)


External links

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