Author Archives: Susan Shapiro

Nonfiction: Avoid the Poison Pen

“What if I don’t want to offend anybody?" As a teacher of first-person writing who has published three provocative memoirs that my family hates, I’m often asked this question. It’s a conundrum for all authors. The great novelist E.L. Doctorow once told me there were stories he wouldn’t publish until certain relatives died—and he...

Nonfiction: Q&As

“There’s no Q&A protocol. You can write the manual,” The New York Times Magazine journalist Deborah Solomon told Columbia Journalism Review in the summer of 2005. Yet a recent controversy over Solomon’s Q&A interviewing techniques in her own weekly column proved her wrong about the lack of protocol for this popular but peculiar genre.