Stephanie Danler On Writing The Intensely Personal Followup To Sweetbitter

No pressure. Stephanie Danler’ s debut novel, Sweetbitter, was an international bestseller and the basis for an acclaimed series — she’s the creator, executive producer and writer — currently wrapping up its second season on STARZ. Now, she’s working on the follow-up to that phenomenon.“I still don’t have my sound bites for it,” Danler cautions Christene Barberich, Refinery29’s global editor-in-chief and cofounder, on this week’s UnStyled podcast. But the new tome, a collection of “autobiographical essays,” is definitely thousands of miles away from the quasi-fictional Manhattan restaurant world of Sweetbitter, inspired by Danler’s earlier professional life. It’s also been much more personal, even painful, for Danler to put these words down on the page.“I moved back to California in 2015, which is where I’m from,” she explains. Back home, Danler decided to confront her difficult family origins. “I\'d worked with people for a decade who didn’t know a