Suzanne Scanlon is a Chicago-based writer whose work spans fiction, creative non-fiction, performance and arts writing. She is the author of Promising Young Women (Dorothy, 2012), a novel-in-fragments about the life of a young woman in and out of institutions, and Her 37th Year, an Index (Noemi, 2015), a fictional memoir in the form of an index, following one year in a woman’s life. Her 37th Year was recently featured in a show at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and a Swedish translation is forthcoming. A chapter of Promising Young Women was featured as part of a group exhibition titled Institutional Garbage at Sector 2337, presented by the Green Lantern Press and the Hyde Park Art Center.
She is at work on a collection of critical and personal essays about contemporary women writers, marriage/divorce, performance and grief, as well as a novel titled Scenes of Interrogation. An excerpt from her novel, titled “The Rape Essay”, was published in Ireland, as part of A Kind of Compass, Stories on Distance (Tramp Press, 2015); another section, “Skepticism and Affirmation,” will be published in Rockhaven: A History of Interiors (Which Witch) a book of photography and essays documenting the abandoned Rockhaven Sanitarium in La Crescenta, California. (Established in 1923 by nurse Agnes Richards, Rockhaven — a former female-owned psychiatric clinic and convalescent home for women — holds an important place in the history of public health for its uniquely feminist mission, which advocated for dignity and respect in women’s healthcare decades before deinstitutionalization in the US.)
She graduated from Barnard College, where she studied with Mary Gordon and Holly Hughes, and has a Master’s in Creative Writing from Illinois State University, where she studied with David Foster Wallace. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The American Scholar, Electric Literature, BOMB Magazine, and The Brooklyn Rail. She is a recipient of residencies from The Ox-Bow School of Art and Artist’s Residency and The Ragdale Foundation.