susan neville

Selected Works

Magazine article
Sailing the Inland Sea: On Writing, Literature, and Land
Calling on the image of the Midwest's vanished inland sea, this collection of essays ponders the writing process and the "landlocked imagination."
Creative nonfiction
Iconography: A Writer's Meditation
Memoir and meditation on writing
Indiana Winter
"Susan Neville is defining the emerging genre of the new nonfiction. The stories she has to tell in Indiana Winter are tales of great emotion and stunning insight."--Michael Martone
FABRICATION: ESSAYS ON MAKING THINGS AND MAKING MEANING
We are a nation of consumers. In this meditation of manufacture, Susan Neville journeys to factories in the heart of the midwest, looking for the sources of things.
Short Fiction
Invention of Flight
Winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction
IN THE HOUSE OF BLUE LIGHTS
"Susan Neville's language shimmers like light coming through colored glass, and her subtle words uncovered the inarticulate longings that burn the hearts of the most ordinary citizens. Susan Neville is one of the finest short story writers in the country." Maura Stanton

IN THE HOUSE OF BLUE LIGHTS

Winner of the Richard Sullivan Prize for Short Fiction, a Chicago Tribune Notable Book of 1998.

Praise for In the House of Blue Lights:
"In the House of Blue Lights dissolves the trimmed and tidied facade of midwestern suburbia to reveal the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Neville's fine stories of infidelity and faith, motherhood and madness, dogged acceptance and quiet hope chart the wide, restless orbit of the human heart."--A. Manette Ansay

"Imagine demands 'a terrible accuracy,' says one of Susan Neville's characters. In this mesmerizing collection of stories, that is what Neville gives us--an accuracy of vision, a harrowing honesty, shot through with tenderness."--Scott Russell Sanders

"In Neville's stories, the soul is a house of blue lights, the earth is a house of blue lights, and responsibility, pleasure, and tragedy all come from the moments when men and women make peace with their restlessness, with history, or with the randomness of God's design. The stories themselves are always graceful and startling; they make the familiar American world seem like it is still full of surprising things, and still worth caring about."--Andrew Levy

"Susan Neville's language shimmers like light coming through colored glass, and her subtle words uncover the inarticulate longings that burn the hearts of the most ordinary citizens. Susan neville is one of the finest short story writers in the country."--Maura Stanton

In the House of Blue Lights, University of Notre Dame Press.

In Indianapolis, Indiana, an eccentric businessman named Skyles Test had a home referred to in local legend as "the house of blue lights." It was rumored that he kept his wife in a blue glass coffin.

This book is a work of fiction, but the title story fills in the holes in the oral history while retaining the tone of the ghost story. Another story based on history includes an imaginative reconstruction of what happened to Madge Oberholtzer, the secretary who was murdered by the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, D.C. Stephenson.

The book can be ordered through the University of Notre Dame Press, Amazon, your local bookstore, or by contacting the author.