Born in WY; married; children: two. Education: Graduated from Université de Poitiers.
Writer; film critic for television, c. 1980-2002; film critic for print media, c. 1982—. Has also worked as a high school French teacher; translator for the Consulate of France in Los Angeles, CA; trainer for a medical-school education project; and actress.
Broadcast Film Critics' Association (membership director), Action Coalition for Media Education (board member).
The Lumière Affair: A Novel of Cannes, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.
A respected film critic for print and television, Sara Voorhees was a well-known personality by the time she wrote her first novel. When she retired from on-screen journalism after a distinguished twenty-five-year career, she had interviewed nearly every contemporary Hollywood film star. In setting her first novel at the Cannes Film Festival, she drew upon her familiarity not only with the event, having covered it five times, but also with the personalities and celebrities who attend it.
Born on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, Voorhees grew up in Denver, Colorado. She attended boarding school in Switzerland and the Université de Poitiers in Tours, France, leading to jobs teaching French and translating for the French Consulate in Los Angeles, California. She found her niche, however, when she began reviewing movies, establishing herself as a film critic, and was nationally syndicated for twenty-two years before her retirement in 2002. Despite a peripatetic life, she made her home in Corrales, New Mexico, where she raised her two children.
Voorhees's first book, The Lumière Affair: A Novel of Cannes, concerns a young reporter named Natalie "Nattie" Conway who has been assigned to cover the Cannes Film Festival. Although this should be an exciting and glamorous assignment for her, she is haunted by memories of her childhood in France that include the tragic and mysterious death of her mother. While attending the film festival, Nattie finds that she must battle difficult memories while simultaneously encountering the various stresses of the festival. Among these are an encounter with a temperamental director who seems to have a connection to her mother's death, and Nattie finds that she must use her skills as an investigative reporter to discover the truth about her own past.
Reviewers generally liked The Lumière Affair, especially its setting. A critic for Kirkus Reviews wrote that "the novel's most fascinating character is the festival itself." The reviewer added that "movie lovers will enjoy Voorhees's gentle satire of the business of film as high art" but felt that the setting outshone the story. Other critics commented on Voorhees's style. Michael Sims, writing for the Nashville Scene Web site, remarked that "Voorhees boasts a rare talent: she is genuinely surprising. Just when you think she is about to fall into some kind of Hollywood thriller cliché, she deftly sidesteps it and continues the story in her own quirky manner." "Natalie's first-person narration works extremely well and makes the pacing of the story just right," commented Jane Jorgenson in Library Journal.
Voorhees is the membership director for the Broadcast Film Critics' Association and serves on the board of directors of the Action Coalition for Media Education.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Albuquerque Tribune, September 21, 2007, Ollie Reed Jr., "Voorhees' Mystery Novel Alights on Movie Mecca Cannes: A Cannes Caper."
Detroit Free Press, May 20, 2007, Terry Lawson, "The Cannes Con in a New Novel."
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2007, review of The Lumière Affair: A Novel of Cannes.
Library Journal, April 1, 2007, Jane Jorgenson, review of The Lumière Affair, p. 84.
Action Coalition for Media Education Web site,http://www.acmecoalition.org/ (January 23, 2008), brief biography of Sara Voorhees.
Blogcritics,http://blogcritics.org/ (April 26, 2007), Scott Butki, interview with Sara Voorhees.
Conversations with Famous Writers,http://conversationsfamouswriters.blogspot.com/ (May 29, 2007), interview with Sara Voorhees.
Nashville Scene,http://www.nashvillescene.com/ (September 8, 2007), Michael Sims, "No Place to Hide."
ReZoom,http://www.rezoom.com/ (September 28, 2007), Dolly Carlisle, "7 Questions for Authors: Sara Voorhees."
Sara Voorhees Home Page,http://www.saravoorhees.com (January 23, 2008).