Romance, family drama
New York City
February 17, 1948
Susan Beth Pfeffer writes about teenage girls struggling with problems ranging from leaving friends behind when the family moves to coping with a missing brother. Her Sebastian Sisters series looks at family ties and romance. Her Make Me a Star series follows the adventures of six young people appearing in a television series.
Most of the characters in Pfeffer's books are from the middleclass America of Queens and Long Island, New York, where she grew up. Her father was a constitutional lawyer and later a professor at Long Island University. Her mother was a secretary who frequently took Pfeffer and her older brother, Alan, to the city to visit the planetarium and museums. The family had a summer home in the Catskills.
Pfeffer received a bachelor of arts degree in 1969 from New York University. She wrote her first book at age twenty, during her final semester in college. At the time, she was taking seventeen credits, nearly failing one class, and having a lot of dental work done. Still, she wrote five pages a day, five days a week, until she had completed a manuscript.
Pfeffer's books have at times drawn opposite reactions from reviewers. Rainbows and Fireworks, for example, troubled Marianne Jacobbi, who was dismayed by an “attempt at non-conformism” through characters such as “artistic parents who write pornography,