Sarah Langan




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Sarah Langan

Goodreads Author


Born
in Mineola, The United States
Website

Genre

Influences

Member Since
October 2015


Sarah grew up on Long Island and went to college in Waterville, Maine, where she published her first story, "Sick People." She got her MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

In addition to writing novels, she also has a Master's in Environmental Health Science/Toxicology from New York University.

Bram Stoker award winner for outstanding novel in 2007 - The Missing. Bram Stoker award winner for outstanding short story in 2008 - The Lost. Bram Stoker award winner for outstanding novel in 2009 - Audrey's Door.

International Horror Guild Nominee, 2007

Dark Scribe Editor's Choice for Outstanding Novel, 2007

American Library Association award winner, 2007

New York Times' Book Review Editor's Choice
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Sarah Langan I’ve just finished a new novel called THE CLINIC and I’m really excited about it. It’s very much in the same vein as my previous books, but I’ve grown…moreI’ve just finished a new novel called THE CLINIC and I’m really excited about it. It’s very much in the same vein as my previous books, but I’ve grown a lot and I think gotten more sophisticated as a storyteller.

I started the book about three years ago, having no idea why I’d abandoned two other novels to work on it. I only knew that something felt uneasy in my life as a new mother for the second time, and in my marriage, too. I’d become obsessed with Mad Men, and in retrospect, for good reason. The show isn’t about the 60s; it’s about now. Just as our own parents grew up getting more rod than carrot, we grew up in a world where dads (and I’m talking about the subset, here, of middle and upper middle class families that stayed together) were the boss and moms did the laundry. In theory the laundry, caring for extended families, cooking, and helping with homework were just as important as taking the train into on office, but in reality, no way. I grew up thinking what my mom did was stupid. Frankly, I grew up thinking women were less important. I was less important.

And then our generation of women was supposed to grow up and be equal with our partners, which is easy when you don’t have kids, and pretty impossible once you do. Who does those stupid jobs, like running the house and the schedule? And hey, wait, they’re not actually stupid jobs, are they? They’re pretty vital, it turns out. They’re just not valued financially, though, in fact, they do have a real financial value. They’re also very lonely jobs.

I don’t think I’m alone in my utter bewilderment, trying to figure out my place in all that. I think it’s generational. We’re the talking generation. Which is what makes me think we’ll do a good job at resolving it.

All that aside, the story’s about a struggling family whose son is sick. He’s got cancer. But it turns out, what he has isn’t really cancer. And the hospital that’s treating him isn’t really out to help him. The corporation that owns the hospital is killing senators and presidents to acquire global water rights. They’re treating the water with anti-malarial chemicals. Except, the chemicals don’t just kill malaria.

It’s the first book in what I hope will be a three book series called INVISIBLE MONSTERS.
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Sarah Langan Dear David,

Thanks for writing!

I wrote The Keeper when I was still in my twenties. In fact, I started it when I was 21 and finished it at 29. I bring…more
Dear David,

Thanks for writing!

I wrote The Keeper when I was still in my twenties. In fact, I started it when I was 21 and finished it at 29. I bring this up because those are intense years. It reminds me of this quote from Lawrence of Arabia:

“Young men make wars, and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men. Courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace. And the vices of peace are the vices of old men. Mistrust and caution. It must be so.”

I was basically a hot head, waging war against an inherently unfair world. The town of Bedford loosely resembles Waterville, where I went to college, and also Old Town, just outside Bangor. Both are in Maine. Paper mills are the focal points of a town because of their giant smoke stacks. Even when they’re closed down, you can’t take your eye off them.

My characters were invented. One of my grad school teachers could never remember that Susan wasn’t based on someone real. She called me “Susan” instead of Sarah. Another teacher was sure I’d had an affair with a professor in high school. Nope. But I let him believe I had because he was so pleased that he’d had the insight.

On the other hand, my characters in many ways are very true, but they’re not based on other people. Like most writers, they’re aspects of me. Susan is an embodiment of all the rage I had back in those days, for reasons both phantom and tangible. Poor Liz was my low self-esteem. Paul was the narcissist every writer needs to be. Georgia had a head on her shoulders, mostly.

I think, ultimately, Keeper is as bleak as it is because I was so young. An older, wiser person might see the light at the end of the tunnel. An older, bitter person wouldn’t be able to tell the story at all. I could never write that story again, but I’m so glad that I did. It speaks to people. Maybe it calls to that hot-head kid we all used to be, and still are. It’s the hot-heads who act. Everybody else stays on schedule.

The Missing had a different impetus. I was having fun. How cool to start a vampire-zombie origin story. I loved writing that—it was hard, of course, but most of it just flowed. Fenstad and Meg were such a fun couple, and their daughter Maddie was so funny. I fact, I found the whole thing funny. It was a comment on current events, particularly the war in Iraq, but it was also pretty gleeful. Or at least, I thought it was gleeful. Then again, Kafka thought Metamorphosis was so funny he couldn’t read it without bursting in laughter. So, to each his own!
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Average rating: 3.74 · 11,437 ratings · 1,265 reviews · 34 distinct works · Similar authors
The Keeper (Keeper, #1)

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Audrey's Door

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The Missing (Keeper, #2)

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Virus

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The Lost

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More books by Sarah Langan…
I blogged about them on Fresh Fiction.com today. Be one of the first to comment, and win![image error]
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The Keeper The Missing
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My husband and I read this to our daughters and every night, they laughed out loud and occasionally cried. It's so refreshing to read something for kids that's well crafted and artistic. It invests the kids' attention and expands their world view in ...more
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Great writing as always. I didn't find the material as compelling and I didn't feel I'd learned as much as from reading FLASH BOYS or THE BIG SHORT. But my qualms remind me of an Oates review of Updike some years ago in the NYT: it's not his best, bu ...more
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More of Sarah's books…
“The sight of her made him understand why he'd lost his faith in God.”
Sarah Langan, The Keeper

“She’d had sex with a boy she wasn’t going to marry. She’d fallen in love with him, knowing that it would never work. Right now the pain seemed worth it because she was in his arms.”
Sarah Langan, The Missing

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