Sue Miller

Despite getting a comparatively late start in her career, Sue Miller was a bestselling American novelist whose best-known works included iThe Good Mother/i (1986) and iInventing the Abbotts/i (1987). She was born ... Read more »
Born: 11/29/1943 in Chicago, Illinois, USA


Writer (3)

Inventing the Abbotts 1997 (Movie)

from short story (From Story)

The Good Mother 1988 (Movie)

("The Good Mother") (Source Material (from novel))

Family Pictures (TV Show)

Source Material (from novel)


Despite getting a comparatively late start in her career, Sue Miller was a bestselling American novelist whose best-known works included <i>The Good Mother</i> (1986) and <i>Inventing the Abbotts</i> (1987). She was born November 29, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois to a well-to-do family with three other siblings. Miller was raised in the community of Hyde Park, which she left to attend the prestigious all-women's liberal arts institution Radcliffe College in the early 1960s. After graduating college, Miller initially wanted to develop her writing career. However, a subsequent marriage and child pushed aside her literary ambitions many years. Her early struggles as a writer became more difficult when she and her husband divorced when her son was only two years old. Saddled with the burdens of being a single parent, Miller began working in day care and rented rooms in her house for an extra source of income. Despite these setbacks, she continued to work on her writing whenever she could. Her hard work finally paid off when she was awarded a fellowship to Boston University's creative writing program. Within the next few years, she continued to earn grants and fellowships, which finally allowed her the opportunity to hone her literary craft full time. Many short stories later, Miller began to fully flesh out a story that drew from some of the difficulties she experienced as a single mother. In 1986, she finally published her first novel, <i>The Good Mother</i>, which told the story of Ann Dunlap, a single mother caught in a legal battle over her four-year-old daughter. <i>The Good Mother</i> became an international bestseller and was adapted into a feature film in 1988, starring Diane Keaton and Liam Neeson. She followed up her debut novel with 1987's <i>Inventing the Abbotts</i>, about the lives of two small-town Illinois families. Her third novel, <i>Family Pictures</i> (1990), solidified her standing as a distinguished author of domestic fiction and earned her a nomination for a National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1997, producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer adapted <i>Inventing the Abbotts</i> with an all-star cast that included Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Crudup, Liv Tyler, and Jennifer Connelly. Miller's increasing popularity grew even faster when Oprah Winfrey selected her novel <i>While I Was Gone</i> (1999) for her popular Book Club in 2000. By 2001, Miller had written seven novels and wanted to explore the realm of nonfiction. <i>The Story of My Father</i> (2003) was Miller's first memoir, a poignant and intensely personal account of her relationship with her father, James Nichols, as he suffered the ills of Alzheimer's disease. Her later novels took broader perspective on domestic fiction; <i>The Senator's Wife</i> (2008) covered the hidden costs of being married to a philandering politician, while <i>The Lake Shore Limited</i> (2010) dealt with domestic life in a post-9/11 America. In 2014, Miller's eleventh novel, <i>The Arsonist</i>, was an exploration of class inequality set against the backdrop of a small New Hampshire town where summer homes mysteriously burned down.


Radcliffe College

Boston University



Published her first memoir, <i>The Story of My Father</i>.


<i>Inventing the Abbotts</i> adapted into a film starring Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly and Liv Tyler.


<i>The Good Mother</i> adapted into a film starring Diane Keaton and Liam Neeson.


Published her first novel, <i>The Good Mother</i>.