ISAACS, SUSAN (1943– ), U.S. author. Brooklyn-born Isaacs, a novelist, essayist, and screenwriter, was educated at Queens College. She left before she earned her degree to work as an editorial assistant at Seventeen magazine. She rose to senior editor but resigned to stay home with her children. At the same time, she freelanced, writing political speeches and magazine articles. She used her work background in her novels. While living on Long Island, a suburb of New York City, she published her first book, Compromising Positions, a comic novel, in 1978. It was a main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and was the first of 10 novels, all of which made the bestseller list. The whodunit told the tale of a suburban housewife who investigates, and solves, the murder of a philandering periodontist. In 1985, Isaacs adapted the book into a successful film, with Susan Sarandon playing the investigator-housewife. She also wrote and co-produced a comedy, Hello Again, in 1987, with Shelley Long and Judith Ivey.
Isaacs's second novel, Close Relations, was a love story set against a background of ethnic, sexual, and New York Democratic Party politics. It was published in 1980 and was a selection of the Literary Guild. Her third, Almost Paradise, in 1984, was also a Literary Guild main selection. In this work Isaacs used the saga form to show how the people are molded not only by their histories but also by family fictions that supplant truth. Her fourth novel, Shining Through, published in 1988, was set during World War II and a film adaptation starred Michael *Douglas and Melanie Griffith. Her other books include After All These Years, Lily White, Red White and Blue, Long Time No See, and Any Place I Hang My Hat. Her fiction has been translated into 30 languages.
Isaacs served as chairman of the board of Poets & Writers and was a president of the Mystery Writers of America. She was also a member of the National Book Critics Circle, PEN (Poets, Essayists and Novelists) and served on various educational and family guidance organizations.