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Third Place Books Presents Sam Cohen, in conversation with Lidia Yuknavitch - Sarahland
In Sarahland, Sam Cohen brilliantly and often hilariously explores the ways in which traditional stories have failed us, both demanding and thrillingly providing for its cast of Sarahs new origin stories, new ways to love the planet and those inhabiting it, and new possibilities for life itself. In one story, a Jewish college Sarah passively consents to a form-life in pursuit of an MRS degree and is swept into a culture of normalized sexual violence. Another reveals a version of Sarah finding pleasure--and a new set of problems--by playing dead for a wealthy necrophiliac. A Buffy-loving Sarah uses fan fiction to work through romantic obsession. As the collection progresses, Cohen explodes this search for self, insisting that we have more to resist and repair than our own personal narratives. Readers witness as the ever-evolving "Sarah" gets recast: as a bible-era trans woman, an aging lesbian literally growing roots, a being who transcends the earth as we know it. While Cohen presents a world that will clearly someday end, "Sarah" will continue.



In each Sarah's refusal to adhere to a single narrative, she potentially builds a better home for us all, a place to live that demands no fixity of self, no plague of consumerism, no bodily compromise, a place called Sarahland.



Sam Cohen was born and raised in suburban Detroit. Her fiction is published in Fence, Bomb, Diagram, and Gulf Coast, among others. The recipient of a MacDowell fellowship and a PhD fellow at the University of Southern California, Cohen lives in Los Angeles.



Lidia Yuknavitch is the nationally bestselling author of the novels The Book of Joan, The Small Backs of Children, and Dora: A Headcase, and of the memoir The Chronology of Water. She is the recipient of two Oregon Book Awards and has been a finalist for the Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize and the PEN Center USA Creative Nonfiction Award. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Mar 11, 2021 07:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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