Sue Ellen Bridgers Critical Essays


(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Sue Ellen Bridgers 1942–

American novelist and short story writer.

In her work, Bridgers draws from her roots as a small town Southerner and reveals her fascination with family relationships. She has been generally praised for her vivid characterizations; her female characters are particularly outstanding, showing strength in their personal convictions and their ability to support and assist those around them.

In her highly acclaimed first novel, Home Before Dark, Bridgers relates the plight of a migrant family in the changing rural South through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old female protagonist. A teenage girl is also the main character in Bridgers's second novel, All Together Now, which explores the themes of loyalty and communication among various groups of people. Bridgers's recent novel Notes for Another Life focuses on a teenage brother and sister who have been abandoned by their parents.

Most critics agree that Bridgers's work demonstrates pervasive optimism without lapsing into sentimentality. Her characters, whether central or peripheral, are skillfully drawn and their problems and solutions are consistently believable.

(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 65-68 and Something about the Author, Vol. 22.)