Susan Conley is a novelist, creative writing professor and memoirist. Her new novel Paris Was the Place (Knopf, August 2013), is an Amazon Fall Big Books Pick for fiction, an Indie Next Pick, and an Elle Magazine Readers Prize Pick. A native of Maine, Susan earned her B.A. from Middlebury College and her M.F.A. in creative writing from San Diego State University. After teaching poetry and literature at Emerson College in Boston, Susan returned to Portland, Maine, where she cofounded and served as executive director of The Telling Room, a nonprofit creative writing center for students ages six to eighteen.
In 2007, Susan and her husband relocated their family to Beijing for a two and a half year stint. Susan's memoir, The Foremost Good Fortune (Knopf 2011), chronicles her family’s move to Beijing, a cross-cultural odyssey through modern China. The Oprah Magazine listed it as a Top Ten Pick, Slate Magazine chose it as "Book of the Week," and The Washington Post called it "a beautiful book about China and cancer and how to be an authentic, courageous human being." Reviewers at many publications including The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The U.K. Telegraph, and DownEast Magazine concurred. Excerpts from the memoir have been published in The New York Times Magazine and The Daily Beast. The book was a finalist for the Goodreads Choice Awards and won the Maine Literary Award for Memoir.
Susan’s writing has also appeared in The Paris Review, The Harvard Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Gettysburg Review, The North American Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She currently teaches at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Program and is the Jack Kerouac Visiting Writer at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
Book reading and conversation as part of the Maine Women Writes Book Club, 2014 at the Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, 716 Stevens Avenue, Portland, ME