Susan Shapiro

Susan Shapiro, an award-winning writer and professor, freelances for the NY Times, Washington Post, WSJ, LA Times, NY Magazine, Salon, Elle, Oprah, Wired & New Yorker online. She's the bestselling author/coauthor of 17 books her family hates like Five Men Who Broke My Heart, Lighting Up, Unhooked, The Bosnia List and her recent memoir The Forgiveness Tour. She lives with her scriptwriter husband in Manhattan and uses her writing/publishing guides The Book Bible and Byline Bible to teach her wildly popular "instant gratification takes too long" courses at The New School, NYU, Columbia University and in private classes & seminars - now online. Follow her on Twitter at @susanshapironet, Instagram at @Profsue123 or email

Booklist starred review of Book Bible
Library Journal starred review of World In Between
Book List starred review of World In Between
Publishers Weekly Starred Review of Forgiveness Tour
Business Insider ❤️s The Byline Bible & Sue’s Zoom class
Winner of 2019 ASJA Book Award
Winner of 2018 Best Book Award for Writing & Publishing

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Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell's, Books-A-Million

Marie Claire article
One to One TV Interview
The Shrinks are Away (NYTimes)
San Francisco Chronicle Review
Publishers Weekly
Cover story
Read an excerpt in New York Press
Interview in Brooklyn Rail
Read an excerpt at
Read An Excerpt on the High Low
Overexposed in YourTango
Read an excerpt at
Corsair Review
SHEWRITES interview
Chickliterati at
Book Mitzvah article
OVEREXPOSED on Cupid's Pulse
OVEREXPOSED on Single Women Rule
Profile and Q&A in The Resident
OVEREXPOSED in Huffington Post
Voices From The Garage Review
Inside Source Article

Instead of a "Freaky Friday" mother-daughter switch, Shapiro has a pair of BFF's trade places. Manhattan photographer Rachel Solomon wants nothing more to leave her Midwestern Jewish roots behind. But her friend and mentor, WASP-Y Elizabeth Mann, marries Rachel's doctor brother, moves to the Midwest and ingratiates herself in the life Rachel left behind - and Solomon must decide if she can really let go.
NY Post Required Reading

The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but the black leather-wearing black sheep of a boisterous Midwestern Jewish clan never figured her best friend would actually leap into her backyard. Photographer Rachel happily trades her suburban Chicago roots for the boho life in New York City, and though she longs to revel in the edgy art world where her idol, Elizabeth--daughter of a famed Life photographer--was raised, Elizabeth can't shed the trappings fast enough for the "normal" life Rachel shuns. The gimmick is clever, but...there's more to this hip tale of yearning than her transformation, and Shapiro champions the small asides, the stubborn secrets, and the unconditional affection of a big, complicated family to forge a connection with readers.
Publishers Weekly

Even heavier on the family drama, but with a light touch: Susan Shapiro's Overexposed (St. Martin's, August) features a photographer (she "thinks she's the next Diane Arbus") who has happily escaped her nebbishy Midwestern family ("I don't belong here," she told her mother as a child) for Manhattan. The twist: Her WASP mentor marries her younger brother and transforms herself into the sweet Jewish daughter (or "JAP wannabe") that the narrator's parents always desired.
Tablet Magazine

Friendships are tough. Especially when your little brother decides to marry your ex-BFF, a privileged WASP, who starts popping out babies and competing for your mother's love by giving them Hebrew names.
More Magazine

Rachel Solomon doesn't want to become a doctor and she doesn't want to get married... Since Rachel was 10, photography has been her dream. Her best friend Elizabeth, daughter of Rachel's idol in the photography world... has conncected her with the right people and Rachel puts her heart and soul into her photography. Unfortunately her family doesn't notice of Rachel's work. They are more taken with Elizabeth, who has married Rachel's brother and produced grandchildren. "Overexposed" tells Rachel's story in a fast-paced, funny, engaging manner. You feel Rachel's disappointment when her family doesn't give her credit for a job well done and root for her to feel at peace with the path she's chosen despite her family's wishes.
Book Talk

Susan Shapiro's comical novel Overexposed shows readers that the family a person feels stuck with is still the family they love. Rachel's partying ways may have given her freedom but at the expense of a secure future and closeness with her parents and brothers. After seeing both her brothers and her best friend settle down she begins to wonder if her life is incomplete. Rachel has problems of her own, but those flaws are what make her a realistic and likeable character. This family drama will draw readers and keep them hooked all the way through.
San Francisco Book Review

Overexposed is a comic novel about... feminism (and at times a lack thereof). But it's also about a belief in the self.... It delves into what it's like to be a young artist in New York making her way through both her career and her life, towards personal transformation...gritty in its honesty... fearless in content, no subject off limits. In addition to being entertaining, it is a veritable exposé on jealousy, identity, and individuality, as well as familial duty.
Brooklyn Rail
Rachel Solomon is ecstatic to escape her Midwest Jewish family for bohemian New York City, chasing her dream of becoming a photographer. Her job at a magazine becomes complicated when she meets the person she's replacing. Elizabeth Mann is the WASPY daughter of Rachel's favorite photographer and appears to have everything that Rachel desires: an upcoming photography show, famous family friends...and no Jewish mother who pressures her to become a doctor like Rachel's father and two brothers...Shapiro expertly captures the elusive aspects of family, friendship, and love in this winning dramedy.

I've just finished reading Overexposed -- could hardly put it down -- and find it lively, engrossing, and well-written. Delightful. A roman-a-clef. I'm drawn to the relationship between Ricky and Elizabeth, their attachment believable because it is so real, the ambivalences making it all the more credible. A fine book.
Grace Schulman, author of "First Loves & Other Adventures"

Shapiro's genius is that she draws compelling that the reader has no choice but to engage with great hopes for the transformation. Once hooked, it's a hop, skip and a handstand to tryouts for Shapiro's cheering squad...I end up rooting myself hoarse for Shapiro's neurotics...every page as densely packed with humor as a mouthful of Ben & Jerry's is with chunks.
San Francisco Chronicle

A smart chick-lit nod to Trading Places
Time Out New York

Freaky Friday, Trading Places, and the Prince and Pauper get a make-over in Overexposed. Rachel Solomon, an aspiring shutterbug from a Midwestern Jewish family, escapes suburban paradise for the bohemia of New York, gets a job at Vision magazine, replacing the previous art assistant, Elizabeth Mann, daughter of a famous photographer... Rachel looks up to her talented friend while sarcastic hotheaded Elizabeth admires everything about Rachel: her clothes, looks, and eventually her family. "You can have my soul," she tells Rachel, "If I can have your hair." When Elizabeth speed-marries Rachel's brother Ben, nearly circumventing another wedding, she blissfully abandons her high heels for nursing bras... Based on a true story, the novel takes us through the tribulations of a female friendship that is more like an on-again off-again love and hate affair... A delightful roman-a-clef which in French means "a novel with a key."
Woman Around Town

Overexposed is funny and readable all the way through. I love the disease game. The family dynamics of the Solomons will give many readers--Jewish and Gentile alike--a shock of recognition.
Blake Bailey, author of Cheever: A Life

Overexposed is about a struggling artist and a Midwestern housewife who end up swapping lives.... Rachel is cute and relatable, especially to young, single urban women who want a career...In a quirky twist of fate, Rachel's hip, single feminist friend reveals that she really wants a stable home life married to a doctor...who turns out to be Rachel's brother.... Shapiro's funny, Freudian, engaging tale is a good read for everyone who's thought they had to choose between marriage, career and family. Perhaps it's just like the heroine says "Maybe the trick was that women could have it all, just not at the same time."
Jerusalem Post

"...Rachel Solomon strives to make a name for herself in Manhattan's world of photography...The refusal of our heroine to give up...holds the reader enamored in her witty prose and problems...Shapiro dips us into a mire of failed romance... Each relationship lends more depth to her rich character. The scenes are painted with such enthusiastic alacrity we find ourselves transported... every painful or hysterically funny moment helps us to briefly exist in Rachel's high-heeled shoes...Shapiro explains it took 13 years to publish... this page turner was definitely worth the wait.

Press Release

Copyright 2004-2022 Susan Shapiro. All Rights Reserved.
Fix-Up Fanatic cover art by Mary Lynn Blasutta