Sarah Shun-lien Bynum


Born
in The United States
January 01, 1972

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Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is an American writer. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter and teaches writing and literature at UC San Diego.

Bynum is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Madeleine is Sleeping was published by Harcourt in 2004 and was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her short stories, including excerpts from her new novel, have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Triquarterly, The Georgia Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and in Best American Short Stories. Her novel, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, was published in September 2008 and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2009.

In 2010, Bynum was named one of the New Yorker
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Average rating: 3.57 · 7,373 ratings · 1,222 reviews · 11 distinct worksSimilar authors
Ms. Hempel Chronicles

3.35 avg rating — 1,619 ratings — published 2008 — 20 editions
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Madeleine is Sleeping

3.50 avg rating — 1,189 ratings — published 2004 — 2 editions
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The Burglar

3.08 avg rating — 26 ratings — published 2016
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Likes

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2017
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My Mother She Killed Me, My...

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3.63 avg rating — 3,287 ratings — published 2010 — 5 editions
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The Best American Short Sto...

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3.69 avg rating — 1,067 ratings — published 2009 — 3 editions
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Tin House: Fantastic Women

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4.08 avg rating — 181 ratings — published 2007
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The Brown Reader: 50 Writer...

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3.92 avg rating — 91 ratings — published 2014 — 5 editions
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Ploughshares Summer 2017 Is...

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3.79 avg rating — 24 ratings — published 2017
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Ploughshares Fall 2013 Gues...

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3.75 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 2013 — 2 editions
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“That is what is marvelous about school, she realized: when you are in school, your talents are without number, and your promise is boundless. You ace a math test: you will one day work for NASA. The choir director asks you to sing a solo at the holiday concert: you are the next Mariah Carey. You score a goal, you win a poetry contest, you act in a play. And you are everything at once: actor, astronomer, gymnast, star. But at a certain point, you begin to feel your talents dropping away, like feathers from a molting bird. Cello lessons conflict with soccer practice. There aren't enough spots on the debating team. Calculus remains elusive. Until the day you realize that you cannot think of a single thing you are wonderful at.”
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Ms. Hempel Chronicles

“How terrible it is to recognize that one’s brilliance rests solely upon the small-mindedness of others.”
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Madeleine is Sleeping

“She hears the word bell, or orchard, or swallow, and she experiences a strange surprise, like the feel of a coin in the soil. These words make her wistful; they overwhelm her with longing. Not for her orchard, nor the bell in her church, nor the swallows that nest in the eaves of her house. For something else altogether, something she would have forgotten completely.

She wonders: Why should these words pierce me, if they are not the remains of a currency I once knew how to spend?”
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Madeleine is Sleeping

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