Fletcher, Susan 1979-
Fletcher, Susan 1979-
Born 1979, in Birmingham, England. Education: Studied creative writing at the University of East Anglia.
Home—Stratford-on-Avon, England. Agent—Curtis Brown Group Ltd., Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4SP, England.
Whitbread First Novel Award, 2004, and Betty Trask Prize, 2005, both for Eve Green.
Eve Green (novel), W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2004.
Oystercatchers (novel), W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2007.
Susan Fletcher's award-winning first novel, Eve Green, tells the story of a troubled young woman who never knew her father and whose mother killed herself when Eve was just a child. Though Eve was raised by her grandparents on their farm in Wales, she was considered a troublemaker by some of the locals who had known her father and his reputation. When Eve becomes pregnant she is forced to look at her own childhood and seek out the keys to her identity.
In an interview posted on the HarperCollins UK ReadingGroups Web site, Fletcher discussed the characteristics she shares with her fictional protagonist. "I think it must be hard for any writer to create a protagonist who has no autobiographical elements," she noted, adding: "Eve is certainly not me. She undergoes events I have not; she has views that I don't necessarily share … but I think there are a few similarities—her red hair, for example, and her love of the countryside." Reviewing Eve Green, a Kirkus Reviews contributor remarked that "plentiful elements of richness and grace slowly give way to a fairly standardized small-town gothic." Reba Leiding, writing in Library Journal, praised Fletcher for including "lush descriptions of beautiful scenery and dramatic weather, plus an authentic view of Welsh rural life," while in Publishers Weekly a critic dubbed the novel "rich—sometimes too rich—in melancholic, misty atmosphere and poetic poignancy."
Oystercatchers tells the story of twenty-seven-year-old Moira Stone, who spends much of her time visiting her sixteen-year-old sister, Amy, who is in a coma. The reader gets to know Moira through her ramblings to her silent sister, the ongoing monologue serving as a combination of diary and confessional and revealing Moira's personal issues with her marriage and relationships in general. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews found Moira an unsympathetic character who is filled with self-pity, declaring that "beautiful prose, particularly the evocative descriptions of landscape, isn't enough to redeem such a sour heroine." Eleanor J. Bader, reviewing the book for Library Journal, dubbed Fletcher's second novel "a story about love, betrayal, and the power of the spoken word to heal and comfort." Booklist reviewer Michael Cart insisted that "any reader who cares for gorgeous writing, richly realized setting, and character will find much here to treasure."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July 1, 2007, Michael Cart, review of Oystercatchers, p. 29.
Guardian (London, England), February 12, 2005, Sarah Adams, review of Eve Green, p. 30.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2004, review of Eve Green, p. 593; May 1, 2007, review of Oystercatchers.
Library Journal, August, 2004, Reba Leiding, review of Eve Green, p. 66; April 1, 2007, Eleanor J. Bader, review of Oystercatchers, p. 80.
New York Times Book Review, October 24, 2004, Polly Shulman, "The Age of Innocence," p. 20.
Publishers Weekly, July 26, 2004, review of Eve Green, p. 37.
School Library Journal, February, 2005, Molly Connally, review of Eve Green, p. 156.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), October 10, 2004, Jessica Treadway, review of Eve Green, p. 1.
Washington Post, January 7, 2005, Hephzibah Anderson, "Whitbread Awards Honor Five Authors," p. C8.
HarperCollins UK ReadingGroups Web site,http://www.readinggroups.co.uk/ (March 30, 2005), interview with Susan Fletcher.