Writers Who Read

2 February 2020

Trust Exercise
by Susan Choi


“It’s a novel about how we tell our story, and who else might be trying to tell our story, since our story is usually entangled with somebody else’s . . . ”
- Susan Choi


“. . . I wanted the characters to be in a place that isn't a cultural capital . . .
They're always yearning for
and aspiring to go
where the bright lights are.”
- Susan Choi

Trust Exercise - Susan Choi

  • Marketing: Contemporary Literary Fiction, Romance Literary Fiction, Coming of Age Fiction
  • Genre: Realistic, Present Day, Arch-Plot Long-Form
  • Word count: 92,492
  • Print Pages: 262
  • Reading Level: 8th-9th grade

  • POV:
    • Part 1 (Sarah): 3rd Person Omniscient
    • Part 2 (Karen): 1st Person; 3rd Person Close ("Karen")
    • Part 3: 3rd Person Close (Claire)

  • Publish date: April 9, 2019
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
  • Sold By: Macmillan
  • Awards: 2019 National Book Award For Fiction

  • Named a Best Book of 2019 by: The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Elle, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Bustle, Refinery29, Town & Country, Cosmopolitan, The Millions, TIME

  • Barak Obama's 2019 Book List

Author/Publisher Intent

Stylistic Choices

Structure, Pacing

Climax - what changed?

Scene sleuthing


Around the Table

Introductions with Attribution

Five Minutes Each

Writers Who Read: Coming Up

March 1: Lady In The Lake (2019) - Laura Lippman
April 5: Fleishman Is In Trouble (2019) - Taffy Brodesser-Akner
May 3: Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
(2009, translated 2019) - Olga Tokarczuk
June 7: Agent Running in the Field (2019) - John le Carré

Thanks to: Boulder Writers Alliance

Contact Gary: hello@garyalanmcbride.com
Literary Forensics Resources