Sarah Stonich started writing
relatively late, in her thirties. She has
been awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship and a Loft McKnight Fellowship,
among others. Her first novel, These Granite Islands,
was a critical success, translated into six languages and
short-listed for France's prestigious Grand Prix de
lectrices d'Elle. She has also been artist-in-residence at
numerous programs here and abroad. While at the Tyrone
Guthrie Centre in Ireland, she began the The Ice
Chorus. Sarah was also a Drue Heinz
Fellow at Hawthornden Castle, Scotland, where she began work on
a volume of short fiction-in-progress, Vacationland.
Shelter was released in 2011, which Sarah describes as "... essays surrounding my return to Northern Minnesota and my collaboration with an artisan builder to create a Scandinavian homestead. Shelter is also a chronicle of early immigrants to the region, particularly the Finns, who were being conscripted and jailed in their own country. Lastly, Shelter describes how one of the countries last great wilderness areas, the BWCAW, came to be preserved. The border country is a place where my immigrant grandparents once thrived, though now my family name is fading from memory - I am the only Stonich to return with any permanence in mind, in hopes to mend that fraying legacy, at least for my son and future generations that might find their own shelter there." Sarah Stonich has been writer-in-residence at The Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, IL; Centrum, Port Townsend, WA; Gibraltar Point, Toronto; and ART OMI International Writers Residency at Ledig House, NY. Of such residencies Sarah says: "The concentrated bouts of time are invaluable - not only for the opportunity to work, but for the chance to meet others . Writing is so solitary - it's vital to meet and discuss the life with writers; to exchange work, to bounce ideas, to commiserate, and to be inspired and supported."
Sarah regularly participates in literary seminars, conferences, library events, and, alumni functions for various universities, such as branches of AAUW. In 2005 she moderated discussions at the Irish Writers' Festival in Aspen in televised panels featuring Edna O'Brien, Jamie O'Neill, Colum McCann, Nuala O'Faolin and others. Irish traditions of storytelling have been most inspiring and illuminating to her career, the literature that's had the most impact on her as a writer.
About her future:
"I'll continue to write novels, but am equally drawn to short fiction and essay. I'm currently finishing a book of stories , Vacationland, and hope to write more short fiction when I am "between novels."
Sarah lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Jon.
This biography was last updated on 07/25/2011.
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