Susan Straight

Susan Straight’s newest novel is “Between Heaven and Here.” It is the last in the Rio Seco Trilogy, which began with “A Million Nightingales” and “Take One Candle Light a Room.” She has published eight novels, a novel for young readers and a children’s book. She has also written essays and articles for numerous national publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation and Harper’s Magazine, and is a frequent contributor to NPR and

Her story “Mines,” first published in Zoetrope All Story, was included in Best American Short Stories 2003. She won a Lannan Literary Award in 2007. She won a 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award for her short story “The Golden Gopher.”

She is a Professor at the University of California, Riverside and lives in Riverside, California.

Books in order of publication:


Aquaboogie: A Novel in Stories. Minneapolis, Minn.: Milkweed Editions. (1991)

I Been in Sorrow’s Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots (1993)

Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights (1995)

The Gettin’ Place (1997)

Highwire Moon (2001) – finalist for the National Book Award

A Million Nightingales (2006)

Take One Candle Light a Room (2010)

Between Heaven and Here (2012)

Mecca (2022)

Children’s books

Bear E. Bear (1995)

The Friskative Dog (2007)


In the Country of Women (2019)

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