Gran, Sara 1971–
Gran, Sara 1971–
Born December 2, 1971, in Brooklyn, NY.
Writer. Has worked in bookstores Shakespeare & Co., Strand, and Housing Works.
Saturn's Return to New York (novel), Soho Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Come Closer (novel), Soho Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Dope (novel), G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 2006.
Also author of Sara Gran Blog site.
Come Closer and Dope were being adapted for film by Miramax and Paramount, respectively.
Sara Gran is a former bookseller whose first novel, Saturn's Return to New York, tells the story of Mary Forrest, a twenty-nine-year-old New Yorker who suddenly finds that it is time to take on more responsibility for her ailing mother and for her own life. After visiting an astrologist who tells her that changes are coming, Mary soon finds that a long-lost love has reappeared in her life and that her mother is developing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Although Mary and her mother were never close, especially after Mary's father committed suicide, Mary must face up to her responsibilities and the fact that her mother as she knows her may not be around much longer. "Woody Allen himself would be proud of the affectionate portrait made of Manhattan, the small hidden spots and treasured eateries of the past and the slightly less glorious present," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor of Saturn's Return to New York. Kristine Huntley, writing in Booklist, noted that the author's "straightforward, direct prose and her characterization of tough, difficult Mary are compelling and moving."
The protagonist Amanda tells her own story in Gran's novel Come Closer. Amanda is a successful architect whose life and marriage falls apart as she becomes possessed by Naamah, an ancient demon. At first Amanda believes the changes and stresses in her life are just a series of coincidences until she finds herself dreaming of the demon. Before long, Amanda begins to turn evil as she seduces men and eventually commits a murder. When she seeks help from a psychiatrist, she begins to believe that he is a demon as are many other people she sees walking the streets. "The tale, fast-paced and claustrophobic, raises a frightening question: Amanda could be going insane, but, in the final analysis, what's the difference?," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor, who called Come Closer a "wonderfully eerie novel." Several reviewers also noted the author's different approach to writing a horror novel. For example, a reviewer writing in Publishers Weekly commented that the author "demonstrates that an urbane and subtle approach to ideas more often treated with hysteria and flash can still produce a gripping contemporary tale of terror." In a review for Booklist, Carol Haggas wrote that the author's "ominous study of psychological and spiritual suspense heralds a refreshingly sophisticated and literate approach."
Gran tells the story of an ex-junkie and jewelry thief turned private detective in the novel Dope. Josephine "Joe" Flannigan does not make much money as a thief, so she takes a job searching for Nadine, a junkie and the missing daughter of a wealthy family. As Joe searches the back alleys and dives of 1950s New York, the reader learns of Joe's own past as a kid prostitute with a tough exterior who learned how to live on the streets. The case eventually takes Joe closer and closer to the world she once inhabited. "Gran's slick, terse, edgy narrative brilliantly mirrors the shifty underworld it portrays," wrote Mary Fitzgerald in the New Statesman. In Booklist, Keir Graff commented of Dope that "good plot twists and a great noir ending seal the deal."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2001, Kristine Huntley, review of Saturn's Return to New York, p. 2085; July, 2003, Carol Haggas, review of Come Closer, p. 1864; January 1, 2006, Keir Graff, review of Dope, p. 67.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2001, review of Saturn's Return to New York, p. 1050; May 15, 2003, review of Come Closer, p. 700; January 1, 2006, review of Dope, p. 8.
Library Journal, September 1, 2001, Beth Gibbs, review of Saturn's Return to New York, p. 233; June 15, 2003, Caroline Mann, review of Come Closer, p. 100.
New Statesman, June 26, 2006, Mary Fitzgerald, review of Dope, p. 67.
New Yorker, November 3, 2003, Lauren Porcaro, review of Come Closer, p. 24.
New York Times Book Review, February 5, 2006, Marilyn Stasio, review of Dope, p. 23.
Publishers Weekly, June 9, 2003, review of Come Closer, p. 40; August 15, 2005, "Former Bookseller Sara Gran Must Have Spent a Lot of Time in the Film Section of the New York City Bookstore Where She Worked," p. 7; December 19, 2005, review of Dope, p. 39.
BookReporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (May 2, 2007), Norah Piehl, review of Dope.
David Thayer Blog,http://davidthayer.booksquare.com/ (January 30, 2006), David Thayer, review of Dope; (April 17, 2006), "Interview with Sara Gran."
GoodShortNovels.com,http://www.goodshortnovels.com/ (May 2, 2007), Stedman Mays, "1950s Detective Noir Dope and Playback."
Sara Gran Home Page,http://www.saragran.com (May 2, 2007).
Writers-Circle.com,http://www.writers-circle.com/ (March 2, 2007), Preston John, review of Dope.