Sunday, August 02, 2015

What is Sarah Elizabeth Schantz reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Sarah Elizabeth Schantz, author of Fig.

Her entry begins:
I’ve been reading a lot of poetry, which is new for me. I just finished Dorianne Laux’s exquisite collection, Facts About the Moon, and before that Marie Howe’s, What The Living Do, and Ellen Bass’ Like a Beggar. I soon learned there is a connection between these poets as Howe dedicated her book to Laux and blurbed Bass’ The Human Line. I learned of Howe when I heard her read “Practicing” on Fresh Air. Every once in a while, I encounter work by someone else that feels like work I could have written—I don’t know how else to describe the feeling, and please understand that I am not by any means saying I could write a poem as gorgeous or as honest as “Practicing,” because I couldn’t, but I am attempting to explain the affinity I feel for it. From there, I discovered Bass, and then serendipity led me to Laux. I’m part of...[read on]
About Fig, from the publisher:
Love and sacrifice intertwine in this brilliant and provocative debut of rare beauty about a girl dealing with her mother’s schizophrenia and her own mental illness.

Fig’s world lies somewhere between reality and fantasy.

But as she watches Mama slowly come undone, it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is not, what is fun and what is frightening. To save Mama, Fig begins a fierce battle to bring her back. She knows that her daily sacrifices, like not touching metal one day or avoiding water the next, are the only way to cure Mama.

The problem is that in the process of a daily sacrifice, Fig begins to lose herself as well, increasingly isolating herself from her classmates and engaging in self-destructive behavior that only further sets her apart.

Spanning the course of Fig’s childhood from age six to nineteen, this deeply provocative novel is more than a portrait of a mother, a daughter, and the struggle that comes with all-consuming love. It is an acutely honest and often painful portrayal of life with mental illness and the lengths to which a young woman must go to handle the ordeals—real or imaginary—thrown her way.
Visit Sarah Elizabeth Schantz's website.

The Page 69 Test: Fig.

My Book, The Movie: Fig.

Writers Read: Sarah Elizabeth Schantz.

--Marshal Zeringue