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Schupack, Deborah

SCHUPACK, Deborah

PERSONAL:

Female. Education: Dartmouth University, graduated, 1984.

ADDRESSES:

Agent—Maria Massie, Witherspoon Associates, 235 East 31st. St., New York, NY l00l6.

CAREER:

Educator, copywriter, and novelist. Former journalist; teacher of writing and English literature at schools, including Yale University, Vermont College, and New School University; freelance advertising copywriter.

WRITINGS:

The Boy on the Bus, Free Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor to periodicals, including the New York Times, Gettysburg Review, and Fiction.

WORK IN PROGRESS:

A novel.

SIDELIGHTS:

Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Gillian Flynn praised New York-based author Deborah Schupack's first novel, The Boy on the Bus as "a chillingly twisty psychological drama about love and need." Also praising the novel, a Kirkus reviewer called The Boy on the Bus "an astounding and horrific first novel."

In the novel, eight-year-old Charlie arrives home on the school bus.… but is it really Charlie? His mother, Meg, a Vermont housewife, is not sure. What begins as a seemingly mundane science-fiction scenario becomes "an acute psychological study of alienated ex-urban family life," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Judith Kicinski wrote in Library Journal that The Boy on the Bus is "an utterly original work that preys on a fear that every mother must experience at least once when looking at her son or daughter and thinks, 'This is not my child.'"

Schupack's writing style has drawn comments from a number of reviewers, who have compared her fiction to the work of Shirley Jackson, Russell Banks, and Doris Lessing. Ron Charles noted in his Christian Science Monitor review that Schupack's "cool, poetic voice offers a steady flow of startling observations about marriage and parenthood—and those most temporary beings of all: children." The novel's unsettling portrayal of marriage, parenthood, and children caused Charles to comment further: "Not since gripping the pages of Henry James's classic Turn of the Screw have I been so unsettled by a story about caring for children." Charles concluded that "From a debut this daring should rise a career of penetrating novels," while in Kirkus Reviews the critic maintained that with The Boy on the Bus "Schupack boldly announces her presence at the table of writers who deserve to be heard."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2003, review of The Boy on the Bus, p. 1050.

Christian Science Monitor, February 27, 2003, Ron Charles, review of The Boy on the Bus.

Entertainment Weekly, March 14, 2003, Gillian Flynn, review of The Boy on the Bus, p. 70.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2002, review of The Boy on the Bus, p. 1798.

Library Journal, February 15, 2003, Judith Kicinski, review of The Boy on the Bus, p. 171.

New York Times Book Review, April 6, 2003, review of The Boy on the Bus, p. 24.

Publishers Weekly, February 24, 2003, review of The Boy on the Bus, p. 53; January 27, 2003, Charles Hix, review of The Boy on the Bus, pp. 127-128.*

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