Women We Love 2022: Suzanne Feldman

Suzanne Feldman

by Tim Stephens

“I clearly remember standing on a chair in preschool, telling my schoolmates the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff,” Suzanne Feldman tells GO. “Possibly it was their adoration that I craved, but I just really wanted them to know about those goats!” Decades later, Feldman is telling different tales as a successful out author, whose literary, science, and genre fiction has earned nominations for the Lambda Literary Award and the prestigious Pushcart Prize, as well as numerous other awards and fellowships, including a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. Though her first love is writing, Feldman taught art for almost 30 years, penning short stories and novels when she wasn’t at work. “I actually chose teaching art over teaching English, because…with art, there are very few papers to grade,” she recalls. “When I got home from school, I would slug back a bunch of coffee, and get to work on whatever book I was working on.” Writing runs in Feldman’s family: her father, a Holocaust survivor, authored a memoir called One Step Ahead, about his experiences as a teenager during World War II. Though Feldman “can’t write” about World War II—“it’s too close to the bone for me,” she explains—her latest novel, Sisters of the Great War, follows Baltimore siblings Ruth and Elise to the front lines in 1914 Belgium. “Lesbian characters alert!” exclaims Feldman, who lives with her wife of 40 years and their “four-legged” children. “I wanted to do something both intimate and epic. What could be more epic than a war? What could be more intimate than love behind the lines?” Her collection, The Witch Bottle and Other Stories, is due out this September. –LE

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