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Recent reads::

A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles – what a complete and utter joy this book is. I continue my long reading list of Undervalued British Women Novelists (I follow the Facebook page of the same name.) They host an annual conference! Also on my reading list: Mr. Fortune’s Maggot by Silvia Townsend Warner is a great winter read. More current Brit-lit reads: Late In The Day by Tessa Hadley who was here in Minneapolis last night, when it was below zero, poor thing didn’t know what hit her. I yawned through Transcription by Kate Atkinson – sadly, Kate called it in on that one – flat, tedious, none of her usual spark – but there is a new Jackson Brody novel coming out in June so…On my nightstand: three New Zealand titles, The Mannequin Makers; Come On Shore and We Will Kill You And Eat You. History Of New Zealand, by Michael King. Also down under, Tim Winton’s memoir, Island Home. I’m working my way through a bunch of Finnish literature Under The North Star, Vaino Linna; Silences: a novel of the Finnish Civil War, Roy Blomstrom, and, A Winter’s Day, Henrik Tikkanen. Closer to home, I read Leif Enger’s Virgil Wander, a sweet novel set on the north shore of Lake Superior – really loved it. 

The second of my Northern Trilogy, Laurentian Divide, is out to great reviews. It has been chosen by Wisconsin Public Radio for their Chapter-A-Day program for next fall and will be read by Jim Flemming, the voice of reason. (You know, ‘The Ideas Network guy!) Vacationland continues to be chosen as community read and book club choice - thanks to readers. Laurentian was just announced as a finalist for the 2019 Minnesota Book Award, so, fingers crossed for that. In May the I will be a featured author at WordPlay, Minnesota’s first serious, real-deal international book festival. At the same time, editor Frank Bures will release ‘Under Purple Skies’ an anthology of MN writers, including myself and Marlon James (there, I just managed to get my name and Marlon James’ in the same sentence).

The Life::
I’m doing research on Watershed, which will round out the trilogy. I’m half-finished with Reeling, the follow-up to Fishing to be issued and re-issued respectively by University of MN Press in ’20. The beat goes on. This summer I wrote a screenplay set in and around the Minneapolis music scenes of 1990s and present. I really enjoyed the South Dakota Festival of The Book in September and got to hang with some amazing authors, big favorites were mystery writer Jess Lourey and Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones). In January I went to Memphis for the ABAs Winter Institute. I will spend February and half of March on the Scottish coast near St. Andrews and spend time in the libraries there, work hard on both Watershed and Reeling and watch a lovely black lab named Jack.


Sarah moderating a discussion at the Aspen Irish Writers' festival, here with Edna O'Brien, Colum McCann, Jamie O'Neill, and Nuala O'Faolin.


Has been awarded a number of grants, including a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship and a Loft McKnight Fellowship. Her first novel, THESE GRANITE ISLANDS was translated to eight languages and was short-listed for France's prestigious Grand Prix de lectrices d'Elle.  Her second novel THE ICE CHORUS been re-issued in paperback by ALMA BOOKS of England, distributing it in English language markets wordwide.




::On Writing

Once I plot a story and begin, the characters own it.  When they pull me along to places where I'm unsure what might happen next, I know I'm writing.