Susan Fromberg Schaeffer Biography
(1941– ), Mainland, The Injured Party, Buffalo Afternoon, Falling, Anya, The Madness of a Seduced Woman
Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: William Sansom (William Norman Trevor Sansom) Biography to Dr Seuss [Theodor Giesel] Biography
American novelist, born in Brooklyn, New York, educated at the University of Chicago. Influenced by both her literary studies (her Ph.D. dissertation was on the novels of Nabokov) and her familial experience of the Jewish Holocaust experience, Schaeffer is most frequently classified as a Jewish-American writer. She has enriched the genre of the family saga by adding a growing awareness of feminist issues, a critical consciousness, and interest in linguistic play to her writing. She writes sweeping historical novels and shorter novels of domestic and psychological realism with equal ease, such as Mainland (1985), in which a married woman writer recovering from an eye operation discovers, in her relationship with a Chinese immigrant, new depths of sensitivity and compassion; and The Injured Party (1986), about the dilemma of a woman faced with her lost and dying lover. Buffalo Afternoon (1989), a long novel set during and after the Vietnam War, adopts a male perspective. Her other works include the novels Falling (1973), Anya (1975), The Madness of a Seduced Woman (1983), and First Nights (1993); collections of poetry, The Witch and the Weather Report (1972), Alphabet for the Lost Years (1976), and The Bible of the Beasts of the Little Field (1980); and the short stories in The Queen of Egypt (1980).