Salway, Sarah

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Salway, Sarah

PERSONAL: Married; children: two. Education: Attended London College of Fashion; University of Glamorgan, master’s degree.

ADDRESSES: Home— Kent, England. E-mail— [email protected]

CAREER: Writer and educator. Teacher at University of Kent, University of Sussex, and Queen Margaret University College. Worked previously as an account director at a London public relations firm and as a freelance journalist.

WRITINGS

Something Beginning With (novel), Bloomsbury Publishing (London, England), 2004, also published as The ABCs of Love, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Leading the Dance (short stories), Bluechrome Publishing (Bristol, England), 2006.

(With Lynne Reese) Messages (novel), Bluechrome Publishing (Bristol, England), 2006.

Tell Me Everything (novel), Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor of poems and short stories to periodicals.

SIDELIGHTS: Sarah Salway took writing seriously at an early age, creating a club for would-be novel writers at her school. Ultimately pursuing a career in journalism, she kept writing fiction as a hobby until enrollment in a creative writing workshop rekindled her desire to get published. Salway returned to school, earning master’s and Ph.D. degrees in creative writing, and teaching English at several universities in her native England. Her first published works were short stories, which she discovered gave her the literary freedom to experiment with different writing processes and techniques. Even after becoming a published novelist, Salway explained on her home page: “It is the form I always come back to because I love the elegance of the form and the opportunity you have to play within it.... I get frustrated when people think it is an easy option because it is ‘short’ as in many ways it’s technically difficult to get everything across in such a short space of time without confusing and getting too involved.” A collection of Salway’s short stories was published in 2006 and titled Leading the Dance.

Salway’s first novel incorporates many short-story elements in its structure and style. Something Beginning With (published as The ABCs of Love in the United States) is set up as a series of vignettes written from the perspective of a young woman struggling with her love life, her career, and her self worth. There are twenty-six mini-chapters, each beginning with a letter of the alphabet ranging from “Ambition” to “Zzzz.” A Publishers Weekly contributor commented in a review of the book: “Salway wraps her bright, comic writing in bite-sized chunks that make this first novel an easy-reading pleasure.” Susie Boyt wrote in a review for the London Independent:“There is a deftness to Sarah Salway’s writing, which is never clumsy or inelegant.” A Trashionista writer remarked that “the fact that each entry can be taken as a work in itself means that the quality of writing is excellent.... Salway is an extremely skilled stylist.”

In Salway’s next novel, a young woman realizes the power of words and the havoc that can be wreaked by a single conversation. The central character of Tell Me Everything embellishes a description of her frustrating home life to a teacher, and she finds herself on her own after the social services department is called in. The novel follows the young woman as she sets herself up with a new job, a new love, and new friends and struggles to come to terms with her past. Library Journal reviewer Jan Blodgett described the novel as a “haunting tale about the power and danger of stories.”

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES

PERIODICALS

Library Journal, September 1, 2006, Jan Blodgett, review of Tell Me Everything, p. 138.

Publishers Weekly, April 5, 2004, review of The ABCs of Love, p. 40.

ONLINE

Independent Online, http://www.independent.co.uk/ (May 14, 2004), Susie Boyt, review of Something Beginning With..

Sarah Salway Home Page, http://www.sarahsalway.com (January 11, 2007).

Trashionista, http://www.trashionista.com/ (January 18, 2007), review of Something Beginning With.