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Sarah: A Novel

Sarah: A Novel

4.5 22
by JT LeRoy

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National Bestseller

Featuring a foreword by Billy Corgan

A reissue of the national bestselling novel by JT LeRoy/Laura Albert—published to coincide with the new Jeff Feuerzeig documentary: Author: The JT LeRoy Story, which will have a theatrical release in July 2016.

“A deft and imaginative…novel.”—


National Bestseller

Featuring a foreword by Billy Corgan

A reissue of the national bestselling novel by JT LeRoy/Laura Albert—published to coincide with the new Jeff Feuerzeig documentary: Author: The JT LeRoy Story, which will have a theatrical release in July 2016.

“A deft and imaginative…novel.”—New York Times Book Review

Sarah never admits that she’s his mother, but the beautiful boy has watched her survive as a “lot lizard”: a prostitute working the West Virginia truck stops. Desperate to win her love, he decides to surpass her as the best and most famous lot lizard ever. With his own leather mini-skirt and a makeup bag that closes with Velcro, the young “Cherry Vanilla” embarks on a journey through the Appalachian wilds, dining on transcendental cuisine, supplicating to the mystical Jackalope, encountering the most terrifying of pimps, walking on water, being venerated as an innocent girl saint—and then being denounced as the devil.

By turns exhilarating and shocking, magical and realistic, Sarah brings urgency, wit, and imagination to an unknown and unforgettable world.

Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
“Edgy but thoroughly...larger than life...comically Dickensian.”
New York Times Book Review
“A deft and imaginative first novel.”
“...quick, lively, and fascinating.”
Village Voice Literary Supplement
“Wildly imagined, but described with a quiet sureness Sarah’s considerable originality testify to LeRoy’s wonderful ability to make up beautiful things.”
Toronto Star
“JT LeRoy’s masterful imagination, command of story, and easy sense of the mythological are a rare combination that demands attention.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author

JT LeRoy is a literary persona created by Laura Albert. She is the author of Sarah, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, and Harold’s End. lauraalbert.org.

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Sarah 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have probably never been so completely involved in reading a book. I read Sarah in less than a week and it was all I thought about. It's an amazing story of a way of life that many people don't know exists. JT Leroy is a truly amazing writer and I can't wait to read more and more of his work. Don't borrow this book from someone else, get your own copy becuase you'll want to read it over and over again.
CiscoTheKid 9 months ago
It is rare that I read a book that is so wild and original and heartbreakingly beautiful that I find myself returning to it again and again. Whenever I am reading something else, I am secretly wishing I was reading “Sarah” or “The Heart if Deceitful Above All Things” again. Laura Albert is a literary genius capable of creating characters so real and human that I find myself worrying about them and missing them and wondering about them long after the conclusion. This is a Dickensonian feat that few writers I can think of are capable of achieving so effortlessly. She brings back the magic of reading that I loved as a child. She can imbue seemingly simple moments with such vivid details and meaning that you don’t even see the next sentence coming until it hits you over the head and leaves you on the floor. She is truly a modern day Salinger. On another note, I have read some reviews here that are bent on focusing on the whole JT Leroy “hoax.” I have 3 things to say to these people. First, literary personas are nothing new. Second, the book clearly states FICTION. Third, JT Leroy is alive! If you can’t understand that, then you don’t understand these books at all and I feel sorry for you. Laura Albert is more than deserving of her fame and deserves to have her work read and praised. I, for one, will sing her praises till the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Angeline316 More than 1 year ago
Fantasic from beginning to end. Read this for a look inside the darkest part of humanity.. You really feel for the main character.. Then read 'The Heart is Desceitful Above All Things"... THEN google JT Leroy & Savannah Knoop. Must. Read. This. Period.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Very interesting read. worthy of much praise. and a movie adaptation. unfortunately steven shainberg and antidote films are afraid of the responsibility.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderfully descriptive tale. The writing style is truly amazing. It is one of the best fiction books I have read in quite a while.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The world of Sarah is as rich and textured as the world of any 'heroine' 'princess' 'damsel'. With unforgettable characters with names like Glad, Pie, Sundae, Pooh, Mother Shapiro, Petunia, Stella, Lymon and LeLoup, the world of Cherry Vanilla/Sarah unfolds in much the same way as the works of Dickens and Twain. Jaded, lost, tired youth on the run from sinister pimp. In what had seem to be 'boring' contemporary times, a new young writer, having had to endure much of the 'misadventures' in this novella, has secured a permanent place in American Literature. May Sarah and JT LeRoy be read and revered generations from now!!! A lovely, exquisite story!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is one of the most interesting books ive ever read. from the very first page, all the way to the last , this book keeps your attention, and keeps you wanting more. sometimes funny, sometimes sad, this book is full of different emotions. but all together its a really dark book. youve got to read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If Mark Twain were alive today and writing 'Huck Finn' it would be the twin brother to 'Sarah'. Brutally honest, it is hard to believe a teenager wrote this. Some fantasy moments, the ending for instance, detact from the hard core nature, but definately recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Last night while visiting Barnes & Noble, I came across an interesting-looking book - SARAH so I sat down to read. After 3 hours and 5 refills of coffee, I finished what I think is one of the most amazing books ever written. Hooked from the very first word all the way to a very lovely ending. I left the store totally in awe and the world looked different. SARAH is a beautiful, unsettling, and hilarious journey that will leave you haunted for ages. The Doves Diner characters and of course Pooh will stay alive in your mind and heart eternally. I returned to the store this morning and bought the entire stock of SARAH to give away to my friends, relatives, and lovers. Don't wait til the book comes in paperback.. buy it now. The most rarest gem you could find in the world of literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An amazing book that takes you hostage on the first page and releases you with a kiss on the last. Leroy is one of the last true 'writers' around. This novel is everything a novel should be. I consider myself lucky to have read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Immediately after reading a review of this book in a magazine....I obtained a copy. Within two days I finished it....and I haven't stopped talking about it to everyone I know since. JT Leroy tells the tale of a young boys transgender sexworking experiences. There definetly aren't enough books like this around....so don't be a fool....get a copy now....read it, and spread the word
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once I started, I could not put down my copy of a new book called 'Sarah,' written by someone even younger than I am. Certainly, the book is captivating and full of descriptions that make the West Virginia locale real and alive. The young author has a good ear for speech; he captures the tone, expressions, and rhythms of the people who live there. The story is partly autobiographical - but wholly wonderful. I cared so much for the androgynous boy who calls himself Sarah, possibly because he's so open and uncomplaining, trying so hard to please and just be loved. He never has a moment's self-pity, or thinks of himself as abused. Thus, he remains pure innocence, and that is the tender heart of this story. In drama, they say it is not for the character to weep, but for the character to make the audience weep. With his courage and unsoiled ability to love, that's just what Sarah did to me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I realized that the young author, J.T.Leroy, had totally hooked me into caring about his young hero when the boy in this story decided to leave the safety and security of the only home he'd ever known -- working as a truck stop prostitute for a genuinely caring pimp -- and wander out into the world to get his idea of a symbol of achievement, a bigger raccoon penis bone. The descriptions and dialogues are so real, I felt like I was watching the movie. Every character is fully fleshed out. This is a sad/funny and beautiful novel that has 'Classic' on every page.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I want to buy and give a copy to every gay and every straight person I know. Well, I guess that's about everybody. Anyone who thinks s/he knows about sexual identity will marvel at the subtle underlying premise of 'Sarah.' In his desire to get a bigger raccoon penis bone, he is a competitive male, off on an adventure. He is Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer, bold and brave. This is a work of amazing genius.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are few books that draw you in and won't let you sink into oblivion, and Sarah is such a book. From the moment you start reading you are captivated not only by the disturbing setting, but by the surreal atmosphere and original storyline. Though fantastical, the emotions are true, and the story not so complex that it loses touch with reality. It's simple, strange, and beautiful
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
J. T. LeRoy has written a book about "lizards," or truck stop prostitutes. Glading Grateful ETC...is a pimp in West Virginia and has a son with Sarah. At age 12, Cherry Vanilla joins the family trade and Glad exploits her beautiful blond locks to sell her as a beautiful girl. Glad goes slow with Cherry, so Cherry decides to escape with another "lizard," Pooh, to a truck stop run by Le Loup. There she assumes her mother's name, Sarah and at first is thought to be a miracle. She is revered until her luck turns and every trick she turns gets bad luck. Sarah's luck turns for the worse and she is handed down to Stacey, who treats her terribly and exploits her miserably. But eventually Glad reclaims her. I've been gay for many years but have never dealt with truck stop prostitution. This book was not a pleasant read, and as a matter of fact it was quite disturbing. Whatever purpose Mr. Leroy had in witting it, is lost to me.