Micklem, Sarah 1955-
MICKLEM, Sarah 1955-
PERSONAL: Born 1955, in VA; married Cornelius Eady (a poet and playwright). Education: Graduate of Princeton University.
CAREER: Graphic designer and author. Worked for a nonprofit in New York, NY, and as a teacher in VA; Time Warner, New York, NY, graphic designer. Cofounder of Cave Canem, New York, NY, 1996.
Firethorn: A Novel, Scribner (New York, NY), 2004.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The second book in the "Fire-thorn" trilogy.
SIDELIGHTS: Sarah Micklem was born in Virginia and spent much of her childhood in Rochester, New York, where her father was a teacher and naturalist and both of her parents were activists. Micklem married poet Cornelius Eady, a friend from high school, and moved to New York, where she helped settle refugees for a nonprofit organization. When the couple moved to Virginia, Micklem worked as a teacher before taking a job as a graphic designer that turned into a career. Upon returning to New York, she spent fourteen years with Time Warner, designing children's magazines. Beginning in 1996, Micklem worked as a volunteer for Cave Canem, a nonprofit she helped form to support black poets.
Micklem's first novel, Firethorn, was years in the writing and is the first book in a planned trilogy. She put it down in 1998 to take writing classes, then went back to it and completed the fantasy. The heroine is the red-haired Luck, an orphan born of the mudfolk people, who changes her name to Firethorn in honor of berries she eats after being raped by the warrior for whom she had worked. Firethorn has gifts, including night vision, which intensify, as does her resolve to escape. And she does, with high-born Sir Galan, agreeing to act as his sheath and bedmate in the camps of the warriors, where she also practices her healing skills. When Galan makes a bet that has dire consequences, she uses her powers to change the course of fate.
Booklist contributor Paula Leudtke called Firethorn "a great piece of gritty, feminist fiction, distinguished by a heroine whose vulnerabilities and fresh voice as narrator make her easy to love." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the novel "majestic and powerful," and concluded that "this hypnotic tale of passion and survival will resonate with sophisticated readers of both sexes."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, June 1, 2004, Paula Leudtke, review of Fire-thorn, p. 1713.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2004, review of Firethorn,
Library Journal, June 1, 2004, Deborah Shippy, review of Firethorn, p. 128.
Publishers Weekly, April 5, 2004, review of Firethorn,
Sarah Micklem Home Page,http://www.firethorn.info (October 31, 2004).*