Valerie Sayers is the author of six critically acclaimed novels: The Powers, Brain Fever, The Distance Between Us, Who Do You Love, How I Got Him Back, and Due East. Her stories, essays, and reviews have appeared the New York TimesWashington PostCommonweal, Agni, Zoetrope: All-Story, Ploughshares, Image, Witness, and many other magazines and anthologies. Her literary honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature and two Pushcart Prizes for stories, as well as appearances on several “Notable Books of the Year” lists, including the New York Times Book Review.

Born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina, which became the thinly-disguised Due East of much of her fiction, Sayers was educated at Fordham and Columbia and lived for many years in Brooklyn with her husband, Christian Jara, and their two sons. In 1993, she joined the Department of English at the University of Notre Dame, where she is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of English.


The critics on Sayers:

“Brilliantly realized….The prose has a distinctive, brutal elegance.” – Washington Post on The Powers

“Immensely rich, readable….Large ambition, compassion and psychological depth, not to mention the pleasures of Valerie Sayers’s graceful prose.”  – New York Times on Brain Fever

“She has carved out for herself a corner of the South as clearly delineated as Faulkner’s famous Yoknapatawpha County.”  – Chicago Tribune on The Distance Between Us

 “Sayers has an impeccable understanding of human vulnerability and the taut, poetic language with which to describe it.” – New York Newsday on Who Do You Love

 “Sayers is just so lively and nervy a writer you want her to get something else in print right away, so you can find out what voices capture her imagination next.”  – Philadelphia Inquirer on How I Got Him Back

 “Marks the arrival of a true writer.”  – Publishers Weekly on Due East