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LIVE ON CROWDCAST: EMILY RAPP BLACK discusses her new memoir SANCTUARY with SARAH SENTILLES

*Please note: this event will take place live on Crowdcast. RSVP here to join the livestream or watch the replay.

Sanctuary (Random House)

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Still Point of the Turning World comes an incisive memoir about how she came to question and redefine the concept of resilience after the trauma of her first child’s death.

“A book of rare power and grace . . . Reading this extraordinarily thoughtful writer and her luminous prose was, for me, sanctuary.”—Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club

“Congratulations on the resurrection of your life,” a colleague wrote to Emily Rapp Black when she announced the birth of her second child. The line made Rapp Black pause. Her first child, a boy named Ronan, had died from Tay-Sachs disease before he turned three years old, an experience she wrote about in her second book, The Still Point of the Turning World. Since that time, her life had changed utterly: She left the marriage that fractured under the terrible weight of her son’s illness, got remarried to a man who she fell in love with while her son was dying, had a flourishing career, and gave birth to a healthy baby girl. But she rejected the idea that she was leaving her old life behind—that she had, in the manner of the mythical phoenix, risen from the ashes and been reborn into a new story, when she still carried so much of her old story with her. More to the point, she wanted to carry it with her. Everyone she met told her she was resilient, strong, courageous in ways they didn’t think they could be. But what did those words mean, really?

This book is an attempt to unpack the various notions of resilience that we carry as a culture. Drawing on contemporary psychology, neurology, etymology, literature, art, and self-help, Emily Rapp Black shows how we need a more complex understanding of this concept when applied to stories of loss and healing and overcoming the odds, knowing that we may be asked to rebuild and reimagine our lives at any moment, and often when we least expect it. Interwoven with lyrical, unforgettable personal vignettes from her life as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher, Rapp Black creates a stunning tapestry that is full of wisdom and insight.

Emily Rapp Black is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir and The Still Point of the Turning World. A former Fulbright scholar, she was educated at Harvard University, Trinity College-Dublin, Saint Olaf College, and the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. A recent Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient, she has received awards and fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Jentel Arts Foundation, the Corporation of Yaddo, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Fundación Valparaíso, and Bucknell University, where she was the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence. Her work has appeared in VogueThe New York TimesSalonSlateTimeThe Boston GlobeThe Wall Street JournalPsychology TodayO: The Oprah MagazineLos Angeles Times, and many others. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review and frequently publishes scholarly work in the fields of disability studies, bioethics, and theological studies. She is currently associate professor of creative writing at the University of California-Riverside, where she also teaches medical narratives in the School of Medicine.

Sarah Sentilles is a writer, teacher, critical theorist, scholar of religion, and author of many books, including Draw Your Weapons, which won the 2018 PEN America Award for Creative Nonfiction. Her next book, Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn’t Ours, will be published by Random House in May 2021. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe New YorkerOprah MagazineMs.Religion DispatchesOregon ArtsWatch, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications. She’s had residencies at Hedgebrook and Yaddo. She earned a bachelor's degree at Yale and master's and doctoral degrees at Harvard. She is the co-founder of the Alliance of Idaho, which works to protect the human rights of immigrants.

Event date: 
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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Sanctuary: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525510949
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Random House - January 19th, 2021

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Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn't Ours Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593230039
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Published: Random House - May 4th, 2021

The Still Point of the Turning World Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143125105
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - February 25th, 2014

Draw Your Weapons Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780399590344
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Published: Random House - July 4th, 2017

A Church of Her Own: What Happens When a Woman Takes the Pulpit Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9780156033329
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Published: Mariner Books - April 16th, 2009

Taught by America: A Story of Struggle and Hope in Compton Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780807032732
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Published: Beacon Press - August 1st, 2006