Susan Shapiro

Susan Shapiro, an award-winning writer and professor, freelances for the NY Times, Washington Post, WSJ, LA Times, NY Magazine, Salon, Elle, Oprah, Wired & New Yorker online. She's the bestselling author/coauthor of 18 books her family hates like Five Men Who Broke My Heart, Lighting Up, Unhooked, The Bosnia List and her recent memoir The Forgiveness Tour. She lives with her scriptwriter husband in Manhattan and uses her writing/publishing guides The Book Bible and Byline Bible to teach her wildly popular "instant gratification takes too long" courses at The New School, NYU, Columbia University and in private classes & seminars - now online. Follow her on Twitter at @susanshapironet, Instagram at @Profsue123 or email


The Sergeant on CNN’s Jake Tapper
Booklist starred review of Book Bible
Library Journal starred review of World In Between
Book List starred review of World In Between
Publishers Weekly Starred Review of Forgiveness Tour
Business Insider ❤️s The Byline Bible & Sue’s Zoom class

Winner of 2023 ASJA book Award

Winner of 2019 ASJA Book Award
Winner of 2018 Best Book Award for Writing & Publishing

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Purchase at, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell's, Books-A-Million
Speed Shrinking
A Comic Novel

CBS's The Early Show
CNN's American Morning
Today Show Australia
Whatever TV show
WPKN Radio with Binnie Klein
Radio with Missy

New York Times Modern Love
New York Times on Speed Shrinking
New York Post: Article 1, Article 2
Nervous Breakdown interview

Interview Magazine on Speed Shrinking
NY Daily News
Sinning in LA
My Fox LA
LA Weekly
San Francisco Chronicle Review
Publishers Weekly piece
NY Press: Almost Famous For the Wrong Thing
Cover story
The Daily Mail
The London Independent
The Jewish Forward
Speed Shrinking excerpt in Lilith
Editor Unleashed Interview
Constellation Magazine
More magazine shrink book round-up
New York Press

Italian edition by Baldini & Castoldi

Italian Edition

Abandoned in short order by her husband, her best friend and her psychologist, self-help author Julia Goodman needs help. Despite having written a book on beating food addictions, this self-described "therapy junkie" seeks solace in cupcakes and on couches of eight different shrinks in eight days. Shapiro's high-calorie, high-anxiety heroine is an appealing confection who - not surprisingly in this light, humorous tale - ultimately solves her own problems, bypassing bakeries and psychiatrists' offices on her way to true self-help.
3.5 stars
Aileen Wong, People Magazine

In Shapiro's bubbly latest, self-help guru Julia Goodman is fresh out of advice. Her shrink, Dr. Ness, and best friend Sarah both leave New York, sending her into a cupcake-scarfing tailspin....To make matters worse her director husband, Jake, has been called away to L.A.... Julia searches for a new support system, interviewing eight shrinks in eight days...An original voice and energy that will resonate with anyone who's ever stared down a Twinkie.
Publishers Weekly

Chatterbox self-help whiz melts down when her shrink leaves town...a clean, easy-to-digest style and dialogue that reads like a spiritual cousin to Aaron Sorkin's walk-and-talks.
Kirkus Reviews

...She brings freshness to the charming story line with her panic...Fans will enjoy Julia's frantic race as she runs through doctors and gurus...This is a winner as most readers can commiserate including me who swears the cake hypnotically says "eat me" to the victim, moi.
Genre Go Round Reviews

Shapiro's debut novel is a follow up to her hilarious memoir Lighting Up which chronicled conquering her addictions to smoking, drinking and drugs. At the end, the only thing Shapiro needed to quit was her addiction to therapy. In Speed Shrinking the psychoanalyst ends up quitting his patient... Julia's comical analysis of her situation, as well as her unselfishness, wins the reader over...Julia is the cool, quirky, creative friend everyone wishes for...
The Villager

Shapiro offers a creative twist on chick lit in this comic novel that could be classified as "shrink lit." When her psychoanalyst moves away the same time her husband gets a job in L.A. and her best friend moves to Ohio, Julia fills the void with food. Her issues with abandonment and addiction drive her on a quest to replace her guru: she frantically sees eight shrinks in eight days, her spin on speed dating. Shapiro's writing is energetic and fun...
Wisconsin State Journal

Wonderful and witty
Pomp Magazine

I've read Susan Shapiro's other books and love her style: sharp, frank... funny and she doesn't hold back, living up to her therapist's behest: "lead the least secretive life you can." Therapists are the subject of Speed Shrinking... the story of Julia Goodman, a self-help author known to help her readers/fans/acolytes quit drinking, smoking and toking. Julia was pretty self-obsessed...but she was also endearing, clever and living such a great New York writer's life (right down to ordering in the New York Times and chicken soup) that I couldn't help but like and envy her.
Five Minutes Peace Blog

Speed Shrinking effortlessly zips through a summer in the life of self-help author Julia Goodman. Shapiro is in her metier right here, right now, using the present tense....When Julia's three anchors -- her best friend, therapist, and husband, leave town ("triple pillar desertion," she calls it) Julia finds herself speed shrinking through eight therapists in eight days, as well as eight Overeaters Anonymous meetings. It is a comic Medieval Passion Play with addictions, (Julia) Goodman instead of Everyman. The comedy - and this is a very funny book -- comes from the almost paranoiac sense of all the media forms. Shapiro is as sophisticated in rendering social networking in all its glorious absurdity as she is at satirizing therapy.
The Corsair

I raced through this novel - the main character is hilarious. Great picture of New York City and its intense shrink culture. Very funny, but also very insightful about issues like addiction, marriage, female friendships, ambition, self-control, creativity.
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

While Shapiro gives us a protagonist that is laugh-out-loud funny, there is serious ground covered... from dealing with people who don't see food addiction as a real disorder to the failure of one-size- fits-all programs marketed towards the masses... Anyone who has dealt with emotional eating will commiserate with Julia's journey toward self-understanding (and delight in the gentle lampooning of best known weight-loss programs out there). Those who've never been tempted by the call of a cupcake will gain insight into the struggles food addicts face. Everyone will cheer Julia on as she tries to understand just what it is she's really hungry for after all.
Amber Royer

Shapiro's touching first novel...opens with an announcement that Julia Goodman's best friend Sarah will leave New York after her wedding...It's hard not to feel like you have gone through a divorce when your best friend lives far away...and has trouble making time for you... "Independence used to be my goal," Goodman said. "But I've come to believe the struggle of life is actually finding the right people to walk beside you." The anxious, loving, stronger-than-she-thinks heroine of Shapiro's wonderfully entertaining novel is a lot like Shapiro, who got her start writing candid, passionate memoirs. Fans of her previous work might forget Speed Shrinking is a novel, but that's part of its charm...With the help of the novel I came to realize my best friend's departure and new life didn't have to exclude me. I needed to create my own world....Sometimes it's good to walk alone for a while...
Rosella LaFevre, Temple News
When fun is what's wanted, Speed Shrinking will satisfy any chick worth her lit. Like Susan Shapiro's nonfiction books, including my personal faves, Five Men Who Broke My Heart and Lighting Up, her debut novel is as smart, fast and packed with late-breaking humor as next Saturday night's Saturday Night Live...What does Julia need? A shrink to shrink her... Hilarious speed-shrink-dating ensues...Beyond the belly laughs, Speed Shrinking is a caustic send-up of therapy, for those who need it, and the addicted-to-addiction culture in which we live, laugh and eat cupcakes with pleasure, guilty or not.
Meredith Maran, San Francisco Chronicle

A powerful, soulful, laugh-out-loud delight.
Ian Frazier, author of Dating Your Mom

A hilarious search for Dr. Right. Susan Shapiro makes neuroticism fun.
Amy Alkon, of

A smart, fun, hyperactive page-turner that'll keep you on your mental toes.
Valerie Frankel, author of Thin Is the New Happy

Spills the secret of why women who have it all still overdose on cupcakes. Frothy, funny, sly, and street-smart.
Susan Jane Gilman, author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress

Proust had a cookie. Susan Shapiro has a cupcake-and a really hilarious book.
Patricia Marx, author of Him, Her, Him Again, the End of Him

Susan Shapiro does for therapy and food what Candace Bushnell did for sex and shoes.
Guy Nicolucci, writer for Late Night with Conan O'Brien

If you've ever had a therapist, been in therapy or needed it, check out Speed Shrinking... Self-help Julia Goodman credits her success to her no-bullshit therapist Dr. Ness. But when the good doctor moves to the other side of the country...she test shrinks eight therapists in eight days...If it sounds crazy, that's because it is. It's also funny, well-written, and a brilliant debut novel. No one renders the addictive nature of the therapist-patient tango like Shapiro. You'll become addicted to reading it!
Notes of a Bourgeois Dork blog

Speedshrinking is a fun, cupcake-filled, search-for-a shrink romp...The madcap journey will be appreciated by any woman who's ever worried about her weight, anyone who loves cupcakes and anyone who's spent time on either side of a therapist's couch. Julia's wackiness has you rooting for her...Watching her breeze through one solution to another will give readers laughs as it gives Julia a meltdown.
Rachel Kramer Bussel

A self-help guru finds herself spiraling out of control. Her therapist and her best friend have moved away... On top of that, the (surprisingly sane) husband gets a job in Los Angeles. Having given up cigarettes, pot, alcohol... she finds herself sinking back into bad habits-specifically, cupcake icing. Loving descriptions of sugary topping are... the most moving parts of the book... A desperate Julia tries a series of shrinks giving "speed shrinking" its clever double meaning...The autocratic Dr. Ness and his replacement, the laidback Dr. Cigar, can be funny and genuinely surprising....Shapiro manages entertaining drama when the old therapist betrays her and the new one gets uncomfortably close...

Poor Julia Goodman! Just when she's got it made-great marriage and career, good pals, fabulous therapist- her husband is called to L.A., her best friend moves to Ohio, and her shrink-who transformed her from an addiction-prone mess into a slim, toxin-free, self-help guru-has left for Arizona. Reverting to destructive patterns, Julia gains 35 pounds just as her weight loss book hits the stands. Her solution? A new shrink! In eight days, she shops as many docs as insurance will allow, in search of the savior who will make her Oprah-ready once more. Shapiro's Julia is a contemporary Everywoman: successful yet riddled with self-doubt and always searching for validation-from someone, somewhere. This comic romp is utterly adorable.
The Casino Connection

Susan Shapiro's fictional debut, Speed Shrinking, proves that the memoirist has a knack for cross-genre storytelling... the structure makes time fly by while reading. The story is told with such vivid detail, pain and humor that it's easy to follow and easy to love. Julia Goodman is Shapiro's Carrie Bradshaw; through her main character, Shapiro shares a vulnerable part of her life, and she does it with brutal honesty. Julia is flawed, yet she's driven to fix herself completely. The need to get help - and the lengths she's willing to go to accomplish that need - counteracts any codependency issues Julia suffers from. Her journey over the course of the book is one that will keep readers glued to their seats, whether they're at home or in their therapist's waiting room.
Philadelphia City Paper

Press Release

Copyright 2004-2024 Susan Shapiro. All Rights Reserved.
Fix-Up Fanatic cover art by Mary Lynn Blasutta