In her debut essay collection, Sarah K. Lenz explores the question: How do you live knowing you’re going to die? Lenz touches on moments when death brushed near, including a house fire, a car accident, and a police shooting, but in each case, the violent and tragic are interwoven with curiosity and insight.
With clarity and grace, Lenz takes on a wide-ranging of topics. From the discovery of a post-mortem photograph of her great-uncles who were killed by lightning to the quotidian pancaking-making days with her preschooler son while the COVID-19 pandemic raged, Lenz confronts the complexities of being sandwiched between aging parents and a young child, while also navigating her own thyroid cancer diagnosis. In the midst of this, Lenz finds herself comforting her father, who’s fixated with where to spread his ashes in “Driving the Section Line, ” and imagining all the ways her baby can die when suffering postpartum depression in “So Many Ways.” Though the subjects are serious, often life or death matters, Lenz tells these stories with warmth and wisdom. The narrative is buoyed by breathtaking honesty—and a bit of the grotesque–like a misguided attempt to cook a whole hog’s head from her beloved, late grandmother’s recipe.
This book is a moving, heartfelt meditation on how to face mortality, how to grieve, but most importantly, how to awaken to the ephemeral beauty of the world. This book is a powerful reminder that what will outlast us is those we love.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah K. Lenz grew up in central Nebraska. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Colorado Review, New Letters, Triquarterly, The Fourth River, Pen Dust Radio and elsewhere. Her work has been named Notable in Best American Essays three times. She writes the newsletter Spirit: Notes for the Creative Contemplative. Sarah is an Assistant Professor of English at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas where she lives with her husband, son, and twelve typewriters. Find her online at sarahklenz.com.
ABOUT THE PRESS
Unsolicited Press strives to produce exceptional works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from award-winning authors. Unsolicited Press is based out of Portland, Oregon and focuses on the works of the unsung and underrepresented. As a womxn-owned, all-volunteer small publisher that doesn’t worry about profits as much as championing exceptional literature, we have the privilege of partnering with authors skirting the fringes of the lit world. We’ve worked with emerging and award-winning authors such as Shann Ray, Amy Shimshon-Santo, Brook Bhagat, Kris Amos, and John W. Bateman. Learn more at unsolicitedpress.com. Find us on twitter and Instagram, @unsolicitedp.
"What Will Outlast Me?" is available on June 13, 2023 , as a paperback (252p.; 978-1-956692-53-2) and e-book (all major retailers). Retailers, schools, and libraries can order copies through Ingram. The author is open to speaking with the media, holding readings, and engaging in other author opportunities.
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