When Did Fairy Tales Lose Their Edge?

Though readers born after 1980 may not be familiar with her, Shelley Duvall was one of the most recognizable presences in the late 1970s and early '80s, in part because she was so delightfully odd, and in part because she was so prolific. At the beginning of each tale, she wandered onto a fantastical set—an enchanted forest or a bucolic kingdom—and announced, “Hello, I’m Shelley Duvall.
DAME Magazine Link to Story

The Aggressively Terrible Life of the Real Simple Holiday Hostess

It's the holidays: time for women to be endlessly instructed in the fine art of entertaining. But, like witches, hostesses come in the categories of "good" and "bad." Lady Macbeth is a bad hostess. She and her husband plot to kill Duncan while he is staying with them. It's bad enough to murder a man while he sleeps, but while he sleeps in your castle?
Jezebel Link to Story

Talking Journeys, Objects and Mothers with Swoon

Her site-specific installation Submerged Motherlands is on view at the Brooklyn Museum until August 24. I sat down with her at Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn to discuss her current and past work.
The Huffington Post Link to Story

The Babies on Facebook

The babies are abroad. They’re in Rome, or on the top of a mountain (in a fancy baby backpack), or on a blanket with mom at the beach. The babies play at home on colorful elephant rugs. Then the babies are in transit. They wait with their parents in airport lounges. The babies are restless. Today the babies are performing, but they don’t know it.
The Feminist Wire Link to Story

Pistols and Pearls: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

The first season of the absurdly entertaining Australian television series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, based on Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher Murder Mystery books of the 1990’s, revivifies the classic figure of the amateur lady detective. The actress Essie Davis, who looks like the 1920s incarnate, plays the stylish and self-fashioned Miss Fisher, who floats through life – and through bloody crime scenes – with the self-assurance and sangfroid of a particularly awesome jungle cat.
Open Letters Monthly Link to Story



Susan Harlan is a writer based in Winston-Salem, NC, who is particularly interested in the relationship between place, memory, and objects. Her essays have appeared in publications including The Guardian US, The Paris Review Daily, Guernica, Roads & Kingdoms, The Morning News, The Awl, Curbed, Racked, Atlas Obscura, The Common, The Toast, Nowhere, Literary Hub, The Bitter Southerner, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Brooklyn Quarterly, Avidly, and Public Books. She also writes about feminist issues for venues such as Jezebel, Literary Mothers, The Feminist Wire, DAME, Skirt!, The Hairpin, The Establishment, Queen Mob's Tea House, The Belladonna, The South Carolina Review, and The Manifest-Station. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from New York University and an M.A. in English Renaissance theater history from King’s College London and teaches English at Wake Forest University. Her book Luggage was published in the Bloomsbury series Object Lessons in March 2018. Her book Decorating a Room of One's Own, a humorous mash-up of home design reportage and literary homes based on her column for The Toast, will be published by Abrams in October 2018.

She is represented by Jim McCarthy of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret Literary Management.

Photo credit Sarah Torretta Klock.



  • Teaching
  • Writing