Susan Faludi is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and the author of the bestselling Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction; Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man; and The Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. In her most recent book, In the Darkroom, Faludi investigates her transgender father’s lifetime of identity transformations, and the larger mysteries of identity—personal, political, and cultural—transfixing our times.
Backlash, published in 1991, played a formative role in the revival of a national discussion about feminism. The book punctured popular myths about the “costs” of women’s independence that have been repeatedly deployed to discourage women from pursuing equality. In Stiffed, which was published in 1999, Faludi turned her attention to the social pressures placed on men, analyzing the contemporary forces that warp men’s lives and attitudes. Her 2007 book, The Terror Dream, is one of the most original dissections of the post-9/11 American psyche in the media, popular culture, and political life. All of her work challenges convention and stereotype and encourages readers to re-evaluate their own views and convictions.
Susan Faludi was born in New York City and grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York, where she attended public school and discovered an early love for journalism while editing the high school paper. She went to Harvard University on scholarship, majored in American and English history and literature, and served as managing editor of The Harvard Crimson. She graduated summa cum laude and entered professional journalism, hop-scotching from copy girl at The New York Times to reporter at The Miami Herald, Sunday magazine writer at The Atlanta Constitution and The San Jose Mercury News, and reporter at The Wall Street Journal. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism while at The Wall Street Journal, for a story about the painful human consequences of a leveraged buyout of Safeway Stores.
Faludi’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Harper’s, and The Nation, among other publications. For the last several years, she has taught gender studies, first at Harvard University and then at Bowdoin College. Read more about Susan.Download Bio
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash, an astonishing confrontation with the enigma of her father and the larger riddle of identity consuming our age.
The Terror DreamMyth and Misogyny in an Insecure America
A masterwork of historical interpretation and a Rosetta stone for deciphering the ongoing spectacle of American politics, journalism, and culture, The Terror Dream flushes from hiding a forceful dynamic that disfigures our lives even in times of normalcy, and that, unless it is confronted, will send us reeling in a wrong direction the next time tragedy strikes.
From the Lowell ‘Mill Girls’ to Lean In: The Long Dance of Feminism and Capitalism Capitalism birthed feminism, and Faludi explores the hidden ways that, for better or worse, women's rights are still shaped by the marketplace.
Read why The New York Times thinks In the Darkroom is “New & Noteworthy.”
Check out The Guardian’s article on Susan Faludi.
Read some of Faludi’s own reporting in The New York Times.
Check out her website to learn more!
-Stephanie Flom, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures
Praise for In the Darkroom “An absolute stunner of a memoir—probing, steel-nerved, moving in ways you’d never expect.”
—The New York Times
“Faludi’s eloquent, timely, and sweeping-yet-intimate new book . . . is a mash-up of genres and themes about family secrets, masculinity, and femininity, feminism, violence, the Holocaust, taking revenge. Knitting it all together are questions of identity: Who—or what—makes us who and what we are? How immutable is the end result?”
“Many great writers eventually turn to biography, but rarely does it so directly crash into their lifelong intellectual pursuits. . . . very few can dissect a prevailing cultural norm as well as Faludi can.”
“Penetrating and lucid . . . In the Darkroom is Faludi’s rich, arresting, and ultimately generous investigation of her father.”
—The New York Times Book Review (front page)
“In this riveting book about a very complicated subject, Ms. Faludi . . . does a remarkable job tracking down the truth about her father, a person of multiple and contradictory identities . . . Ms. Faludi unfolds her father’s story like the plot of a detective novel.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Reticent and elegant and extremely clever . . . an out-and-out masterpiece of its kind . . . Faludi’s mighty new book . . . is a searching investigation of identity barely disguised as a sometimes funny and sometimes very painful family saga.”
—The Guardian (UK)
“Sometimes, reality delivers up not just a remarkable story, but a remarkable story containing a set of parallel motifs that seem too absurdly perfect to be credible. . . . Most of In the Darkroom, and the best of it, consists of the epic battle, and eventually the epic rapprochement, between Susan and [her father] Stefánie—an irresistible force meeting an immovable object.”
“In the Darkroom is an intensely personal journey for Faludi, and despite the intimate subject matter, she never loses her reportorial edge. . . . Through her father’s experiences, she explores the larger questions of transgender politics and sexual identity in a nation whose past has detrimentally shaped its present”
“Ultimately this book is an act of love . . . a fascinating chronicle of a decade spent trying to understand a parent who had always been inscrutable.”
—The Economist (UK)
“Extraordinary: part riveting family memoir, part revelatory Holocaust history, but most of all a profound meditation on human identity. . . . In the Darkroom is nothing if not timely. It is also highly significant. . . .We live in an age overflowing with bitter battles over identity—with too little of Susan Faludi’s humane desire to understand.”
—National Book Review
“A wrought and multi-layered memoir . . . Powerful and absorbing.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Moving and penetrating . . . A gripping exploration of sexual, national, and ethnic identity.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Wow. Susan Faludi's new book is so good. Like a really dry martini. Pow!”
—The Observer (UK)
“Astonishing, unique . . . should be essential reading.” —The Irish Independent