Susan Minot Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

After her first two collections of short fiction, Susan Minot wrote two novels: Folly (1992) and Evening (1998). She also collaborated with film director Bernardo Bertolucci in writing the screenplay for Stealing Beauty (1996) and has written travel articles and an Esquire essay, “No Woman Is Convinced of Her Beauty.”


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Susan Minot’s stories have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and The Pushcart Prize. She was awarded the Prix Fémina Étranger for Monkeys, which has been optioned for a film, and in 1994 she was named Victoria magazine’s first writer-in-residence.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Picker, Lauren. “Talking with Susan Minot: A Private Affair.” Newsday 15 (November, 1992): 34. Minot notes how her stories begin in images and reflects upon the genesis of her novel Folly in a vision of a woman on her deathbed. Though unwilling to discuss her private life in interviews, she recalls how success generated expectations that affected her relationship with her work. She concludes by contrasting the more focused and intense form of the short story with the novel, which depicts a larger world, in which one can live.

Pryor, Kelli. “The Story of Her Life: Writer Susan Minot Begins a New Chapter.” New York 12 (June, 1989): 52-55. Pryor reviews Minot’s career and praises Monkeys for its “coiled, understated language,” “meticulous rendering of childhood,” and “painful penchant for detail.” She contrasts the “grand loss” of the mother depicted in Monkeys with Lust’s focus on “desire’s smaller wounds.” Minot notes how happiness is a “constant struggle” and “just does not last.”

Minot, Susan. “Interview with Susan Minot.” Interview by Robley Wilson. Short Story, n.s. 2, no. 1 (1994): 112-118. Minot discusses her early experiences with writing, as well as the influence of early reading in Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Butler Yeats, William Faulkner, and Salinger. After experimenting briefly with metafiction, she discovered that it was not her “natural bent.” She reviews her early career and experiences in Columbia’s M.F.A. program, as well as the influence of New York City in stimulating her writing. Minot confirms the presence of numerous images of hiding in her work and comments on the relation they might have to her growing up in a large family.

Minot, Susan. “Susan Minot: Understatement Is the Novelist’s Preference, in Her Writing as Well as in Her Conversation.” Interview by Marcelle Thiebaux. Publishers Weekly 16 (November, 1992): 42-43. Minot discusses her novel Folly, set in the patrician world she “always resisted” and her identification with her protagonist, who clings foolishly but bravely to slavish adoration of a man who spurned her. She comments on her “decorative” painting and her understated style. After remarking about her writing routine and future projects, Minot concludes, “There’s more fictional material in unhappiness and disappointment and frustration than there is in happiness.”