Richter, Stacey 1965-
Richter, Stacey 1965-
Born 1965, in Phoenix, AZ; daughter of Herschel and Valerie Richter; married. Religion: Scientology.
Pushcart Prize, 1998, for "The Beauty Treatment."
My Date with Satan (stories), Scribner (New York, NY), 1999.
Twin Study: Stories, Counterpoint (New York, NY), 2007.
Stacey Richter's My Date with Satan is a collection of thirteen tales narrated by what Newsday reviewer Susan Salter Reynolds described as "blustery teens and twenty-year-olds who act like they know everything just to survive but carry some earnest kindness or need inside of them." Booklist reviewer Kathleen Hughes called Richter's stories "imaginative, unusual, and somewhat creepy" and her characters "voyeuristic and somewhat sordid." One story, "Goal 666," is narrated by a member of a Swedish goth band called Lords of Sludge. In spite of their powerful performances of the dark songs he writes for them, the narrator/songwriter notices that the band members have scrupulous hygiene habits and perfect manners, and that he is becoming as sensitive as they. The band changes its tune when all involved fall for a new female member, switching to Karen Carpenter and Rodgers & Hammerstein melodies. In "The Beauty Treatment," a rich high school student looks for her inner beauty when her face is forever scarred by a razor-wielding girl. This story, which a Publishers Weekly reviewer called "the collection's strongest story … a convincing look into the minds of overindulged kids," was awarded a 1998 Pushcart Prize.
A young woman who goes on a cruise finds herself shipwrecked on an island of men in "An Island of Boyfriends." When she tires of the hunks, the narrator withdraws to become the island recluse. In "Rats Eat Cats," a young woman submits a grant application to become a "cat lady," her plan being to become old amidst dozens of cats in a small apartment where she will collect public assistance, most of which she will spend on cat food. The title story is about Satan and PipiLngstck, the online names of a couple who link up in an S&M chat room and plan to meet to indulge their fantasies. Library Journal reviewer Kimberly G. Allen found Richter's writing to contain "an irony that is familiar yet fresh," while Elizabeth Gleick wrote in the New York Times Book Review that Richter's stories "are sometimes funny, sometimes too bizarre for their own good, and most definitely eccentric. But despite their superficial differences … all are linked by a delicate understanding of the fundamental humanity that underlies our put-on personas, however frail, freakish or off-putting they may seem."
Richter's second collection, Twin Study: Stories contains twelve tales, all of which feature characters in pairs. Most of the characters are women, and all are at critical points in their lives. In "The Long Hall," two daughters of a watchful alcoholic mother must choose between their punk band and their desire for boys. "Young People Today" is the story of an older women and a younger companion. Two Juilliard students take different paths in "Duets," only one of which leads to the success her talent deserves.
A Publishers Weekly contributor concluded that "Richter has a great feel for dialogue and conflict, extreme and otherwise." "The collection is witty, poignant, and admirably perceptive," noted Leah Strauss in Booklist.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 1999, Kathleen Hughes, review of My Date with Satan, p. 1924; March 15, 2007, Leah Strauss, review of Twin Study: Stories, p. 26.
Entertainment Weekly, March 16, 2007, Leah Greenblatt, review of Twin Study, p. 72.
Library Journal, July, 1999, Kimberly G. Allen, review of My Date with Satan, p. 139.
New York Times Book Review, August 15, 1999, Elizabeth Gleick, review of My Date with Satan, p. 9.
Publishers Weekly, June 7, 1999, review of My Date with Satan, p. 73; July 24, 2006, "Pushcart Prize Winner and My Date with Satan Author Stacey Richter Will Move to Counterpoint for Her Next Collection of Stories," p. 8; January 22, 2007, review of Twin Study, p. 158.
Fringe Online,http://www.fringemagazine.org/ (December 7, 2007), Elizabeth Stark, "An Interview with Stacey Richter."
Portland Review Online,http://www.portlandreview.pdx.edu/ (November 25, 2007), Aaron Gilbreath, "An Interview with Stacey Richter."
Stacey Richter Home Page,http://www.staceyrichter.com (December 7, 2007).
Stacey Richter MySpace Page,http://profile.myspace.com (December 7, 2007).
Writers on the Rise,http://writersontherise.com/ (June 29, 2007), Cathy Belben, review of Twin Study.