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Shapiro, Susan 1961-

Shapiro, Susan 1961-

PERSONAL:

Born 1961; married a television and film writer.

ADDRESSES:

Home—New York, NY. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Academic and journalist. New York University, New York, NY, lecturer; New School, New York, NY, lecturer.

WRITINGS:

The Male-to-Female Dictionary: The Handy Guide to the Babble of the Sexes, illustrated by Carol Lay, Boulevard Books (New York, NY), 1996.

Internal Medicine, IM Press (Takoma Park, MD), 1997.

(Editor, with Elizabeth Maxwell) Food for the Soul: Selections from the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Writers' Workshop, introduced by Ian Frazier, Seabury Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Five Men Who Broke My Heart: A Memoir, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Lighting Up: How I Stopped Smoking, Drinking, and Everything Else I Loved in Life except Sex, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Only as Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus, Seal Press (Emeryville, CA), 2007.

Secrets of a Fix-Up Fanatic: How to Meet & Marry Your Match, Delta Trade Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Boston Globe, Nation, Salon.com, Village Voice, People, Glamour, Cosmo, and Jane Magazine.

SIDELIGHTS:

Susan Shapiro is an academic and a journalist. Born in 1961, she is married to a television and film writer. Shapiro worked as a freelance writer and journalist for a number of years and has contributed to mainstream publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Boston Globe, Nation, Salon.com, Village Voice, People, Glamour, Cosmo, and Jane Magazine. She later accepted lecturer positions in journalism and creative writing at New York University and the New School.

Shapiro published her first book, The Male-to-Female Dictionary: The Handy Guide to the Babble of the Sexes, in 1996. The book offers a listing of common phrases and Shapiro's interpretation of what each means from a male and female perspective. A contributor to Entertainment Weekly called the book "amusing" and "useful."

Her second book, Internal Medicine, was published the following year. In 2004 Shapiro edited Food for the Soul: Selections from the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Writers' Workshop with Elizabeth Maxwell. The book is a collection of stories, essays, and poems from twenty-five contributors. A contributor to Publishers Weekly remarked that the book is "sometimes sweet and sometimes bitter," adding that it represents "a nutritious ‘slice of life’ from a writers' workshop that's truly in the soul-food business."

Shapiro published her first personal account, Five Men Who Broke My Heart: A Memoir, in 2004. She decided to look into the lives of five former lovers of hers to see where they had gone in their lives since separating with her. A contributor to Publishers Weekly wrote that the author's recollections are "often funny and always heartfelt." The same contributor remarked that the memoir "is a delightfully kaleidoscopic autobiography of an impulsive and passionate woman who comes of age with style."

The following year Shapiro published her second memoir, Lighting Up: How I Stopped Smoking, Drinking, and Everything Else I Loved in Life except Sex. Here she covers her struggle to stop her habit of smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, giving advice and reflective stories throughout the text. A contributor to Publishers Weekly commented that the author's "wit and honesty elevate" Lighting Up. The same contributor observed that the appointments "with her cool, intelligent psychologist capture all that's both absurd and mundane about such encounters." A critic writing in Kirkus Reviews mentioned that "the manic energy Shapiro brings to her life instills her memoir with a theatrical freshness," adding that "her razor-sharp sense of humor provides balance and perspective."

In 2007 Shapiro published a third memoir, Only as Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus. Shapiro discusses the positive influ- ences and people she has had in her life to help her attain her level of success as a nationally published journalist, ranging from best-selling authors to teachers and academics. A critic writing in Kirkus Reviews suggested that the final chapters of the book "should be required reading for all would-be writers." The same critic described the account as "practical, timeless truths about personal and professional success in print and in life." A contributor to Publishers Weekly described the account as a "lively, inspiring and dishy memoir/advice book."

Also that year she published Secrets of a Fix-Up Fanatic: How to Meet & Marry Your Match. The book proposes that Shapiro's brand of matchmaking is a more suitable choice for those who have had trouble with online dating sites. Vanessa Lawrence, writing in WWD, remarked that "Shapiro's philosophy is compelling." Lawrence continued, saying that "the best part, by far, was Shapiro herself. Unlike blind dating over the Internet, where e-mail exchanges can often be misinterpreted, having a matchmaker removes the translation problem. Shapiro gave reliable, honest feedback, encouraging and arguing when she felt it appropriate."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Shapiro, Susan, Five Men Who Broke My Heart: A Memoir, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Shapiro, Susan, Lighting Up: How I Stopped Smoking, Drinking, and Everything Else I Loved in Life except Sex, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Shapiro, Susan, Only as Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus, Seal Press (Emeryville, CA), 2007.

PERIODICALS

Entertainment Weekly, September 13, 1996, review of The Male-to-Female Dictionary: The Handy Guide to the Babble of the Sexes, p. 127.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2004, review of Lighting Up, p. 997; August 15, 2007, review of Only as Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus.

Publishers Weekly, November 3, 2003, review of Five Men Who Broke My Heart, p. 67; September 27, 2004, review of Food for the Soul: Selections from the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Writers' Workshop, p. 56; December 13, 2004, review of Lighting Up, p. 59; July 9, 2007, review of Only as Good as Your Word, p. 39.

WWD, February 22, 2007, Vanessa Lawrence, review of Secrets of a Fix-Up Fanatic: How to Meet & Marry Your Match, p. 4.

ONLINE

Gothamist,http://gothamist.com/ (March 1, 2005), author interview.

MediaBistro.com,http://www.mediabistro.com/ (May 8, 2008), author profile.

Susan Shapiro Home Page,http://susanshapiro.net (May 8, 2008), author biography.

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