UW–Madison alum Patterson publishes first novel, ‘Things I Wish I Told My Mother’

UW–Madison alumna Susan Patterson recently published her first novel, titled “Things I Wish I Told My Mother.” 

Susan Patterson

Patterson earned a BS in 1979 and an MFA in 1982, both from the School of Education’s Art Department. She has written multiple children’s books with husband James Patterson, a self-described honorary Badger and the world’s bestselling author.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, “The novel follows the story of a mother and daughter traveling together to Paris and Norway.”

In a Q&A with the State Journal, Patterson says, “You just never know what happens with a mother and daughter, when you can’t be together anymore. (The book is) honoring and thinking about my mom and the relationship you have. Because mothers drive us crazy.”

Patterson also discusses what is was like collaborating with her husband and Susan DiLallo, with whom she wrote the novel. “We each brought something different to the situation,” she states.

“While not completely autobiographical, Patterson said the characters were inspired by both her and DiLallo’s mothers, who lived into their 90s and died in the same year,” the State Journal notes.

Susan and James Patterson have extensive connections with UW–Madison. Both of their parents are alums, and the Pattersons recently gave $5 million to the School of Education to support the extension of the UW–Madison School of Education Wisconsin Teacher Pledge.

Both Susan and James Patterson will be in Madison for the Wisconsin Book Festival in April to discuss the novel. They will be speaking at the Madison Central Library on April 12 at 7 p.m. According to the Wisconsin Book Festival event description, pre-signed copies of “Things I Wish I Told My Motherwill be distributed to all attendees. The event is free and open to the public.

Learn more about Things I Wish I Told My Mother.”

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