Searching for Suzi
Monkey Puzzle Press, 2009
Fiction, 5″ x 7.75″, 96 pp., paperback
What happens when an ex-stripper in her mid-thirties, married with children, awakens one day questioning what brought her to a current life of complicated domesticity? Compelled to return to Omaha after seventeen years, the narrator we only know as Natalie begins a quest into her past, an adventure that takes the reader from childhood beauty pageants to the sex and glamour industries. Natalie’s search becomes an intrepid journey through her own sexuality, a woman not only claiming herself but also accepting her contradictions. With inquisitive perception and agile use of perspective, Searching for Suzi is an investigation into the tragic shadows of a past preferred to be forgotten.
The exploitation has to be turned around on itself at some point. Searching for Suzi tells the story of Natalie, an ex-stripper who reflects on her life as she returns to Omaha, Nebraska where she grew up. Discussing the obsession with appearance and the concept of sexy that ranges from the glamour and stripping industry down to childhood beauty pageants, Searching for Suzi is a fascinating and very highly recommended read.
—Midwest Book Review
Sexy, gutsy, raw and mature. A literary strip tease, Nancy Stohlman lures us through the layers of her dark world with the promise of exposing the ultimate sparkle… and ends up revealing something profound.
—Raymond Federman, Author of Double or Nothing
Searching for Suzi offers syntax of desire itself—the complex, difficult, and beautiful ways we rupture into and beyond our own ghost-versions inside the mystery of hello and good-bye. Nancy Stohlman has written a spare, searing, and stunning book. It will wake you in the way that only necessary art can do
—Selah Saterstrom, Author of The Meat and Spirit Plan
In cheap pulp fiction, a stripper is either the helpless victim of sexual exploitation or the gutsy woman who makes the system work for her. Searching for Suzi is not pulp fiction. Nancy Stohlman smartly complicates the stereotypes with this story of a woman looking back on her life from a scrutinizing distance, separating the romantic images from the real and transforming the latter, through the art of storytelling, into something intimate and compelling.
—Danielle Dutton, Author of Attempts at a Life
About Nancy Stohlman
Nancy Stohlman is a writer and professor living in Denver, Colorado. Her first book, Live from Palestine, was nominated for a Colorado Book Award in 2004. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Searching for Suzi is her first novel. For more information, please visit www.nancystohlman.net.