Susan Osborn is the author of novels, short stories, poems, and a wide range of essays, analyses, interviews, and plays. Her last novel, Surviving the Wreck (Henry Holt and Co.), hailed as “a work of genius,” was translated into German and sold widely in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. She has been awarded residencies and grants from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Byrdcliffe, Dorset Colony House, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and Rutgers University.
Her recently completed memoir, My Mother’s Shoes, written on the eve of her mother’s death, traces the author’s journey back through time as she seeks to understand the woman who was her mother and the woman who existed independently of her. As she does so, she also reflects on the touching and distorted ways that she and her mother, disfigured by polio, showed their love for each other. Knowing there’s not much time left, mother and daughter struggle to triumph over a lifetime of unresolved emotions. Written with power and compassion, My Mother’s Shoes is a candid and sometimes shocking mother-daughter story that readers will not soon forget.
Osborn is a frequent reader and speaker at colleges, writing conferences, and literary festivals across the country as well as in Europe. Most recently, she was a guest speaker and reader at the Trevor/Bowen Literary Festival in Ireland and the Universität Basel. She also served as books editor for The Vassar Quarterly for over ten years. A gifted workshop facilitator, she has been invited to conduct workshops and teacher-training programs at a wide range of events, including women's writing organizations and educational programs. Osborn also played a seminal role in the inception and development of The Cork Writers’ School.
Osborn received her A.B. from Vassar College and her Ph.D. in Modern British Literature with a specialization in Composition and Rhetoric from Rutgers University. She currently works as a lecturer in the creative writing program at Rutgers, New Brunswick.