Sue Kaufman’s 1967 breakout novel, Diary of a Mad Housewife, earned her a reputation for writing subtly brutal novels about the isolation and frustration of city life. Kaufman published her first short story in Junior Bazaar in 1947, the same year she graduated from Vassar. For the next two years she worked as an assistant fiction editor for Mademoiselle before quitting to write full time. She published her first novel, The Happy Summer Days, in 1959, but had her first major success with Diary of a Mad Housewife, the story of a doctor’s wife grappling with an abusive husband, disrespectful children, and a manipulative psychiatrist. The book was made into a movie in 1970. Despite a long illness, she continued to write novels and short stories until the year before her death in 1977. The American Academy of Arts and Letters established the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction in her honor in 1980.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Sue Kaufman." (Viewed on May 18, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/kaufman-sue>.