Author Sarah Viren

This is a book about ownership. It begins with an essay about being given a man's furniture while he's on trial for murder and follows with essays that question corporeal, familial, and intellectual forms of ownership. What does it mean to believe that a hand, or a child, or a country, or a story belongs to you? What happens if you realize you're wrong? Mining her own life and those of others, Sarah Viren considers the contingencies of ownership alongside the realities of loss in this debut essay collection.


Sarah Viren is an assistant professor in ASU's Department of English, where she teaches creative writing.

Praise for this book

With wonderfully precise and evocative prose, Sarah Viren takes us deeply into her search for her very self — from the haunted, swampy heat of Florida to the arid West Texas plains, from a simmering volcano in Guatemala to an icy country road in the matted cornfields of Iowa, these superb essays lay bare our universal pining for a place to call one’s own, for a lifelong lover with whom to share it, and for all the disparate shards of our far flung lives to come together ...'Mine' is not only moving, it is instructive and nourishing in a way that only art can deliver. This book is a gem.

Andre Dubus III Author of "House of Sand and Fog"

Sarah Viren is a writer of extraordinary wisdom and grace. Viren approaches her subjects — from beheadings to motherhood to the acquisition of Spanish mediated through a Spanish-language-Dr.-Phil-clone — with unsparing antisentimentality. She’s allergic to comforting illusions, attracted to uncomfortable truths. There’s a steadfast intelligence at work, a rationality almost scary in its unwillingness to bend toward bromide. And so I am always taken aback, in the end, when her essays — cunningly, imperceptibly — gather within themselves such stunning emotional power.

Kerry Howley Author of "Thrown"
Cover of the book "Mine" a weathered teal wooden door with close-up of rusted latch and lock
Date published
University of New Mexico Press

Get this book