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Valerie Sayers Edit Profile

novelist , English educator

Valerie Sayers, American English educator. Avocation: supporting the Catholic worker movement. F C. Fiction fellow National Endowment for the Arts, 1992. Member Modern Language Association, American Association of University Professors, National Book Critics Circuit, Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association American Center.

Background

Sayers, Valerie was born on August 8, 1952 in Beaufort, South Carolina, United States. Daughter of Paul and Janet (Hogan) Sayers.

Education

Bachelor, Fordham University, 1973. Master of Fine Arts, Columbia University, 1976.

Career

Brain Fever and Who Do You Love were named New York Times "Notable Books of the Year", and the 2002 film Due East is based on her first two novels. Reviewing Who Do You Love, The Chicago Tribune declared: "To say that Valerie Sayers is a natural-born writer wildly underestimates the facts…. She has carved out for herself a corner of the South as clearly delineated as Faulkner’s famous Yoknapatawpha County, a sense of the importance and holiness of place that calls to mind Eudora Welty’s writing on the subject."\r\n Sayers was born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina, and educated at Fordham and Columbia.

She lived in New York for many years. Sayers is most often read in the lineage of Mary Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers, Pat Conroy, and Walker Percy. Her short story "The Other Woman" is published in Cabbage and Bones: An Anthology of Irish American Women's Fiction (1997).

The Powers, which the Washington Post described as "brilliantly realized...in brutally elegant prose" opens in the summer of 1941, and holds the war fever then sweeping across Europe in tension with the contemporary baseball mania sweeping up the United States, a fever fueled by the Yankees' Joe DiMaggio. The journal Image: Art, Faith, Mystery featured an interview with Sayers on "Baseball and Fiction". Northwestern University Press plans to reissue her first five novels during 2013.

Since 1993, Sayers has been a professor of English and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame. Critical discussions of Sayers's work appear in Mary E. Reichardt's Catholic Women Writers: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook (2001) and in Bryan Giemza's Catholic Writers and the Invention of the American South (2013). Sayers's essay "The Word Cure: Cancer, Language, and Prayer" appears in the journal Image.

Achievements

  • Sayers's literary awards include a Pushcart Prize for fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship.

Works

Politics

Her writing has considered the experience of Irish Catholics in the American South, the forces of segregation and Civil Rights, and the place of pacifism in domestic politics. Her stories, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in such publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, Commonweal, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, Image, Witness, and Prairie Schooner, and have been cited in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays.

Views

Quotations: "To say that Valerie Sayers is a natural-born writer wildly underestimates the facts…. She has carved out for herself a corner of the South as clearly delineated as Faulkner’s famous Yoknapatawpha County, a sense of the importance and holiness of place that calls to mind Eudora Welty’s writing on the subject." Sayers was born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina, and educated at Fordham and Columbia. She lived in New York for many years.

Her writing has considered the experience of Irish Catholics in the American South, the forces of segregation and Civil Rights, and the place of pacifism in domestic politics. Sayers is most often read in the lineage of Mary Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers, Pat Conroy, and Walker Percy. Her stories, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in such publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, Commonweal, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, Image, Witness, and Prairie Schooner, and have been cited in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays.

Her short story "The Other Woman" is published in Cabbage and Bones: An Anthology of Irish American Women's Fiction (1997). The Powers, which the Washington Post described as "brilliantly realized...in brutally elegant prose" opens in the summer of 1941, and holds the war fever then sweeping across Europe in tension with the contemporary baseball mania sweeping up the United States, a fever fueled by the Yankees' Joe DiMaggio. The journal Image: Art, Faith, Mystery featured an interview with Sayers on "Baseball and Fiction".

Membership

Member Modern Language Association, American Association of University Professors, National Book Critics Circuit, Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association American Center.

Interests

  • Other Interests

    Supporting the catholic worker movement.

Connections

Married Christian Raúl Jara, June 29, 1974. Children: Christian, Raúl.

father:
Paul Sayers

mother:
Janet (Hogan) Sayers

spouse:
Christian Raúl Jara

children:
Christian Sayers

Raúl Sayers