“Sarahland” by Sam Cohen— A Queer Look at the World

Cohen, Sam. “Sarahland”, Grand Central Publishing, 2021.

A Queer Look at the World

Amos Lassen

Sam Cohen’s “Sarahland” is a collection of stores that “imagines new origins and futures for its cast of unforgettable protagonists—almost all of whom are named Sarah.” It explores the ways that other more traditional stories have been unsatisfying by giving us
“new ways to love the planet and those inhabiting it, and new possibilities for life itself.” Cohen looks at the search for self, demanding that we have more to resist and repair than our own personal stories.  For example, the ever-evolving “Sarah” is “recast as a bible-era trans woman, an aging lesbian literally growing roots, a being who transcends the earth as we know it” and so on. We see  a world moving toward its end.

There is no single narrative in each story and we see how we can build a better world which does not necessitate or demand“no fixity of self, no plague of consumerism, no bodily compromise.” It is a place called Sarahland. We see how we are able to see ourselves and where we are. Here is the world as seen through a queer lens in which our culture and fairy tales are used to present the lives and worlds of the Sarahs. Here are the various lives, stories, and worlds the Sarahs can live in. The world of the women named Sarah is revolutionary as it looks at modern identity. The stories are filled with wisdom, emotion, culture and vulnerability. I was so into it that I devoured it in one sitting. Now I miss my Sarahs.

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