Susan Coll

Bookish Person
Bookish Person

A canceled poet, a toddling tortoise, and the Schwarzenegger of vacuum cleaners turn a D.C. bookstore upside down in Susan Coll ’81’s sixth comic novel.

Susan Keselenko Coll ’81’s novels resist easy categorization. “My books are usually targeted more as women’s fiction, but there’s also a dark comic thread running through them that is a little more literary in a sense,” she says from her home in Washington, D.C. “I don’t mean that in a pretentious way. Readers either love it or they don’t.”

There’s a lot of love for Coll, who has built a loyal readership over the last 20 years with her acutely observed comedies of suburban life in the nation’s capital, including Rockville Pike (2005), Beach Week (2010), and The Stager (2014). Her 2007 novel, Acceptance, about an anxious mom trying to get her daughter into an Ivy League college, was adapted into a 2009 Lifetime movie starring Joan Cusack and Mae Whitman.

Coll’s latest novel, Bookish People (to be published by Harper Muse August 2), takes place in an independent D.C. bookstore over the course of a 10-day stretch of summer “punctuated by political turmoil, a celestial event, and a perpetually broken vacuum cleaner” (to quote the book’s press materials). It’s a milieu she knows well, having spent the better part of five years as events and programs director of Politics & Prose, the district’s premier independent bookstore.

Read the full article at Oxy Occidental College
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Bookish Person
Bookish Person
A canceled poet, a toddling tortoise, and the Schwarzenegger of vacuum cleaners turn a D.C. bookstore upside down in Susan Coll ’81’s sixth comic novel.
Susan Coll was already an established novelist when she started working at Politics and Prose in 2011, and she promised the store’s owners that she wouldn’t write some kind of comic behind-the-scenes account of the beloved Connecticut Avenue shop. Oops. “I assured them that was not my intention,” says Coll, who ran the store’s programming and author events. “It truly was not! It just happened.”
Bookish Person
A writing professor haunted by mysteries in her past—and by moths, bridges, unfinished student stories, and her husband’s lover’s nightguard—returns to the scene of her parents’ deaths.
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