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The book-jacket version…

Susan Kaplan Carlton, a longtime magazine writer, currently teaches writing at Boston University. She lived for a time with her family in Atlanta, where her daughters learned the fine points of etiquette from a little pink book and learned the power of social justice from their synagogue. Carlton’s writing has appeared in Self, Elle, Mademoiselle, Seventeen, Parents, and elsewhere. She is the author of the young adult novels Love & Haight, which was named a Best Book for Young Adults by YALSA and a Best Book by the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street Books, and Lobsterland.


The chattier version…

I grew up in San Francisco and its suburbs, went to college in Portland, Oregon, studied in the (then) Soviet Union, and interned in the White House. From there, I got a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and worked for many, many years in magazines—Self, Elle, Mademoiselle, and others. That may explain my perennial crush on polka dots, poodles, and vintage stores.

In the early 2000s, my family moved to Atlanta where we became members of a temple not so very different from the one in In the Neighborhood of True. We were welcomed with a hearty “Shabbat shalom, y’all,” but the memories—and the relevance—of what happened there still echoed. Last year, one of our daughters was in Charlottesville, Virginia as white nationalists brandished torches on the lawn in front of Thomas Jefferson’s rotunda, yelling, “Jews will not replace us.” It became important to me to finish this story about a girl who comes to do the right thing even when it’s hard and heartbreaking.

These days, I teach writing at Boston University and write young adult novels about complicated girls in complicated times. My husband and I have two amusing and good-natured daughters. We’ve moved them up and down the East Coast and now live in Hanover, New Hampshire, where we think we’ll stay.

Representation: Rosemary Stimola of the Stimola Literary Studio