Award-Winning YA Novelist to Read

Author Sara Zarr

Author Sara Zarr

Sara Zarr, an award-winning young adult novelist, will read selections of her work Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge at Westmont’s Kerrwood Hall. The event, part of the Westmont Reading Series, is free and open to the public. A selection of her books will be available for sale and signing.

Zarr has written five novels for young adults, most recently “The Lucy Variations,” which the New York Times called “an elegant novel.” Her sixth, “Gem & Dixie,” will be published in April 2017 by Balzer+Bray.

“I’ve read most of her novels to date and am impressed not only by their page-turning readability but also by their literary quality,” says Paul Willis, Westmont professor of English. “Her writing is very clean and direct. She takes on tough issues that teenagers face and gets us to identify deeply with girls who are in all kinds of trouble. The fact that her fist published novel, ‘Story of a Girl,’ was a finalist for the National Book Award speaks volumes about her talent.

“Sara is not only a great reader of her own work but an insightful speaker about YA fiction in general. She and I were both inducted two years ago into the Chrysostom Society, a relatively small group of Christian literary writers founded in the early 80s by Richard Foster and Madeleine L’Engle.  It will be a real privilege to have her on campus.”

Zarr, who earned a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University, has also written “How to Save a Life” (2011), “Once Was Lost” (2009) and “Sweethearts” (2008). She serves on the faculty at Lesley University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

Sara’s older sister, Liz, graduated from Westmont in 1989, earned a Master of Arts at the University of San Francisco and is an elementary school teacher in San Francisco.