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A Mother, a Murder, and Author Sarah Perry's Coming of Age

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Main Street Books is honored to host Sarah Perry, author of the memoir After the Eclipse and Davidson College McGee Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing.

When Sarah Perry was twelve, she saw a partial eclipse of the sun, an event she took as a sign of good fortune for her and her mother, Crystal. But that brief moment of darkness ultimately foreshadowed a much larger one: two days later, Crystal was murdered in their home in rural Maine, just a few feet from Sarah’s bedroom. 

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The killer escaped unseen; it would take the police twelve years to find him, time in which Sarah grew into adulthood, struggling with abandonment, police interrogations, and the effort of rebuilding her life when so much had been lost. Through it all she would dream of the eventual trial, a conviction—all her questions finally answered. But after the trial, Sarah’s questions only grew. She wanted to understand her mother’s life, not just her final hours, and so she began a personal investigation, one that drew her back to Maine, taking her deep into the abiding darkness of a small American town.   

Told in searing prose, After the Eclipse is a luminous memoir of uncomfortable truth and terrible beauty, an exquisite memorial for a mother stolen from her daughter, and a blazingly successful attempt to cast light on her life once more.

Click here to read the New York Times review.


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Sarah Perry will be joined at Main Street Books by Marina Blitshteyn, who moved to the United States in 1991 as a refugee from the Soviet Union. She studied English at SUNY Buffalo, where she edited the longstanding annual Name poetry journal, and Creative Writing at Columbia University, where she also served as a University Writing Fellow and consultant.

She is the author of Two Hunters, her first full-length collection, to be published by Argos Books in 2018 with a CLMP Face-Out grant. Prior chapbooks include Russian for Lovers (Argos Books), $kill$ (dancing girl press), Nothing Personal (Bone Bouquet Books), and the forthcoming Sheet Music (Sunnyoutside Press). Her work has been anthologized in the new Brooklyn Poets Anthology, The &Now Awards 3: The Best Innovative Writing, Why I Am Not a Painter, and My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry.

 She teaches Composition and Rhetoric and experimental non-fiction and runs The Loose Literary Canons, a feminist reading group in NYC.

Earlier Event: April 17
ReadDavidson Book Discussion
Later Event: April 20
Book Signing: A Cajun Journey