SARAH ELIZABETH SCHANTZ


Sarah Elizabeth Schantz literally grew up in a bookstore, aptly named The Rue Morgue—one of the first mystery bookstores in the US. After placing as a finalist for contests hosted by New Letters and Zoetrope, she won first place in the Third Coast fiction competition, and was soon nominated for the Pushcart Prize and selected for inclusion in the forthcoming anthology of New Stories from the Midwest (2011). As her writing progressed, she continued to win awards, including first place in the Monkey Puzzle Press Flash Fiction Awards, first place in the Saturday’s Child Press fiction contest, and top prizes from Hunger Mountain and The Cream City Review. The first chapter of her second novel (a work in progress) won the 2012 Fall Orlando Prize in Short Fiction hosted by the foundation A Room of Her Own. Schantz holds an MFA in Writing & Poetics from Naropa University. She currently lives with her family in an old farmhouse on the outskirts of Boulder, Colorado where they are surrounded by open sky, century-old cottonwoods, coyote and screech owls. Her first novel, Fig, will be published in April, 2015 by Simon and Schuster's McElderry Books.

praise for fig

"This beautifully written story is a painful look at mental illness. An element of fantasy weaves throughout the narrative, with Annie's tenuous grip on reality and Fig's magical thinking, and references to fairy tales, The Wizard of Oz, and Alice in Wonderland abound. This dense, literary tale starts slowly, but builds to become an incredibly haunting story about mental illness and family bonds." — School Library Journal 

"“Schantz's exquisite prose brims with nature, blood, literary references and intense emotional silence….Achingly beautiful.” Kirkus

“In a novel rich with metaphors, newcomer Schantz explores the tender, heartwrenching relationship between a schizophrenic mother and her highly gifted daughter… Readers will get a strong sense of the powerful bond of love between parents and child as Fig’s family strives to navigate the quagmire of mental illness.”

"Fig is a harrowing read. It’s also lyrical, poignant and relevant. Historical events, from the Challenger space-shuttle disaster to the fall of the Berlin Wall, are woven seamlessly into the story, providing rich context as well as a chance for Sarah to flex her symbolic brawn. Literary allusions to everyone from Virginia Woolf to Laura Ingalls Wilder to L. Frank Baum abound. And as the relationship between Fig and Mama grows more complicated, it deepens into an almost mystical bond.” Denver Westword