Susan Straight


Award-winning author Susan Straight’s latest novel, Mecca, is a stunning epic tracing the intertwined lives of native Californians fighting for life and land. It was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize and was named among the top books of 2022 by The Washington Post, The New York Times and NPR. The New York Times Book Review hails Straight “an essential voice in American writing and in writing of the West.” Los Angeles Times calls Mecca “a new novel to be savored by not just Californians but all Americans who’ve been around the last couple of years… Mecca is a hymn of love and lamentation.” Living within sight of where she was born, Straight is passionate about California, the Santa Ana River, the foothills and the deserts, and has been writing about southern California and the inland area for forty years. She is the author of nine novels, including A Million Nightingales and the National Book Award finalist Highwire Moon, and a memoir, In the Country of Women, based on women’s stories told for five generations to Straight and her daughters in driveways and trucks, at parks and funerals. Her short stories and essays have been published everywhere from The New Yorker, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Guardian to Alta, The Believer, McSweeneys and Zoetrope. Straight has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lannan Prize for Fiction, a California Gold Medal for Fiction, and the Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.