Sarah Stone is a novelist and writing instructor whose fiction has been described as “verdant and ominous…full of engaging parallels and paradoxes…an intricate study of irrationality and its mirror image, rationalization“ in The Miami Herald, and as “complex…clarified by a confident and wonderfully readable language. It’s full of energy and place and fact, a romance, a tragedy, and a vital history lesson all in one“ in O, The Oprah Magazine.
She received her BA in Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her MFA in Fiction from the University of Michigan. She has also studied acting, various forms of dance, improv, playwriting, and the games and techniques of Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed. She has written for Korean public television, reported on human rights in Burundi, and looked after orphan chimpanzees at the Jane Goodall Institute. She’s worked as a psychiatric aide in a locked facility, a graveyard-shift waitress in a chain restaurant, an office worker in an apparently haunted massage/bodywork school in the Santa Cruz mountains, and as a faculty member in, and sometimes co-director of, the MFA program in Writing and Consciousness, formerly at New College of California, now at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She has also taught in Seoul, in Bujumbura, at San Francisco State University, and at the University of California, Berkeley; she now teaches creative writing at Stanford University and for the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
Her novel The True Sources of the Nile (Doubleday/Anchor) has been taught in courses on literature, ethics, and the rhetoric of human rights. It was a BookSense 76 selection, has been translated into German and Dutch, and was included in Geoff Wisner’s A Basket of Leaves: 99 Books That Capture the Spirit of Africa. She is the co-author, with her spouse and writing partner Ron Nyren, of the textbook Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers (trade version: The Longman Guide to Intermediate and Advanced Fiction Writing). Her stories and essays have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Ploughshares; StoryQuarterly; The Writer’s Chronicle; Dedicated to the People of Darfur: Writings on Fear, Risk, and Hope; and A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft.