Susan Minot /ˈmaɪnət/ (born December 7, 1956) is an American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter.
Minot was born in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in Manchester, Massachusetts. She has four sisters and three brothers. She graduated from Concord Academy and then attended Brown University, where she studied writing and painting; in 1983 she graduated from Columbia University School of the Arts with an M.F.A. in creative writing.
Minot's first book, Monkeys, won the 1987 Prix Femina Étranger. In 1984 she received a Pushcart Prize for her story Hiding, and in 2011 she was awarded an O. Henry Award for her story Pole, Pole.
Minot wrote a book of poems, Poems 4 a.m., in 2002.
In Minot's 2014 novel Thirty Girls, Jane, an American journalist, goes to Uganda to report on Kony, a militant rebel leader who kidnaps children from their schools and turns them into soldiers, concubines and drug addicts. Minot simultaneously tells the story of thirty girls who are kidnapped and brutally treated by Kony's followers. Jane visits the convent where the girls were taken and meets Esther, one of the thirty victims.
Minot teaches creative writing at New York University, Stony Brook Southampton, and the University of Tampa.
Minot has co-authored two screenplays that have been made into films: Stealing Beauty (1996) with Bernardo Bertolucci, and Evening (based on her novel of the same name, 2007), written with Michael Cunningham.
Minot's poems and stories have been published in The New Yorker.
Themes and criticism
Sexuality and the difficulties of romantic relationships are a constant theme in Minot's work. Her second book, Lust and Other Stories, focuses on "the relations between men and women in their twenties and thirties having difficulty coming together and difficulty breaking apart". Reviewing her novella Rapture in The Atlantic Monthly, James Marcus notes that "Sex and the single girl have seldom been absent from Susan Minot's fiction", and Dave Welch at Powells.com identifies one of Minot's themes as "the emotional safeguards within family and romantic relations that hold people apart". About Lust, Jill Franks observes that Minot
"begins with short, simple sentences, building gradually to longer ones to create the inevitable conclusion: men don't love like women do. Her logic appears in simple two-or three-liners that capture a sense of futility."
Novels and stories
- Monkeys. New York: Dutton, 1986. ISBN 978-0-525-24342-7
- Lust and Other Stories. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. ISBN 978-0-395-48888-1
- Folly: A Novel. New York: Chivers North American, 1993. ISBN 978-0-7927-1565-8
- Evening. New York: Knopf, 1998. ISBN 978-0-375-40037-7
- Rapture. New York: Knopf, 2002. ISBN 978-0-375-41327-8
- Thirty Girls. New York: Knopf, 2014. ISBN 978-0-307-26638-5
- Stealing Beauty. With Bernardo Bertolucci. New York: Grove Press, 1996. ISBN 978-0-8021-3492-9
- Evening. With Michael Cunningham. 2007.
- Poems 4 A.M. New York: Knopf, 2003. ISBN 978-0-375-70955-5