Sarah Hepola
Blog: Page 1 of 6

May 23, 2020

# 5 White Teeth

Brilliant young novelists, polyglot London, and thoughts on "the perfect woman"

part 5 of a 10-part series I’ve written a lot these past few days, so I will just say this: Zadie Smith might be the perfect woman. At least that’s what I thought as I read “White Teeth,” one of those pyrotechnic multi-character novels about modern polyglot London. She was funny but deep, light but . . . Read More

May 20, 2020

#4 A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

The most exasperating memoir I will ever truly madly deeply love (or so I hope)

part 4 of a 10-part series Gather round, young Snapchat and TikTok fans, and attend the tale of GEN X IRONY. The year was 2000. We used our phones for talking. Each time you logged on the Internet — which we called the “World Wide Web,” a phrase that was like sprinkling glitter from your . . . Read More

May 18, 2020

#3 Drinking: A Love Story

Caroline Knapp and the memoir that started it all

Part 3 of a 10-part series I was 22 or 23. I was in Boston visiting my college roommate Tara Copp, who had an internship at the Globe. I was killing an afternoon by myself, and I was hungover, because I was always hungover, so I was wandering through a book store when the title . . . Read More

May 17, 2020

#2 The Things They Carried

Tim O'Brien's Vietnam novel is so real even a 20-year-old girl in Nineties flannel could see herself in it

part 2 of a 10-part series In my junior year of college, I took a literature of war class. I’d been drawn in by the late-80s/early-90s Vietnam movies, Oliver Stone and Stanley Kubrick, and “war” sounded exciting, high drama. I didn’t know the class would be all boys, but that was a nice bonus. We . . . Read More

May 17, 2020

Ten books that changed me, starting with this one

The power of Stephen King, and the escapes that bring you back to yourself

Over on Facebook, a friend tagged me in one of those games where you post your favorite books for ten days. I figured I’d share the posts here, too, in case anyone is interested, and since I can’t seem to write a simple short post like a normal human but end up writing mini-essays like . . . Read More

May 12, 2020

Adventure awaits, and awaits, and awaits

Rock-climbing and a photo shoot in West Texas, back when we moved around the world

Last October, I went rock climbing in Hueco Tanks, an hour north of El Paso in West Texas. I’d never been rock climbing, but it looked fun. This is the kind of questionable analysis that has lead to worlds of trouble, and oceans of fun. My guide was a guy named Jacob. We spent the . . . Read More

May 7, 2020

The Moon, She Refuses to Be Captured

A morning ritual disrupted and a few of them kept

I woke up at 4:30am, cat in a C-shape beside me. Last night I finished edits on a magazine story, and I can never sleep long after that. My brain stays in hyper-vigilant mode, too much adrenaline I suspect. As I lay under the covers, I could see rivers of text on the galley proof . . . Read More

May 4, 2020

All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers

I visited NorthPark Mall the weekend Texas started opening up. It was weird.

On Saturday I went to the most popular mall in Dallas, and I wrote this piece. I hadn’t planned to report on my state’s controversial re-opening, but I was overwhelmed by the oddness of the spectacle and the unprecedented nature of the moment. When I posted the story to Facebook, my college best friend commented, . . . Read More

April 6, 2020

Someone to Love

On Fountains of Wayne, coronavirus, and the kick drum of the human heart

I was driving the long solitary highway to Alaska when the guy in the passenger seat asked if I knew Fountains of Wayne. Was that a statue? Was that a waterfall? It was a band, he explained, named after a store in New Jersey. That guy was not my boyfriend, but I hadn’t given up . . . Read More

March 26, 2020

Drinking in a global pandemic

Apocalypse is a great reason to get drunk, but it's also a very good reason to stay sober

A few years ago, I was talking with a couple female writers about what we’d do during a zombie apocalypse. One claimed she’d be good with a sword, and she clasped her hands and pantomimed slicing through the air. The other said she could forage. She could scour the cabinets and make dinner from any . . . Read More