After Sappho

Selby Wynn Schwartz



  • 2022
  • ISBN 9781913111243
  • 200 pages
  • Softcover
  • 21.5 × 13.8 × 2.8 cm

A joyous reimagining of the lives of a brilliant group of feminists, sapphists, artists and writers from the past, as they battle for control over their lives, for liberation and for justice.

Told in a series of cascading vignettes, featuring a multitude of voices, After Sappho hails the female torchbearers of the late 19th and early 20th century.

WHAT did we want? To begin with, we wanted what half the population had got by just being born.

Sarah Bernhardt – Colette – Eleanora Duse – Lina Poletti – Josephine Baker – Virginia Woolf… these are just a few of the women sharing the pages of a novel as fierce as it is luminous. Lush and poetic, furious and funny – in After Sappho, Selby Wynn Schwartz has created a work that celebrates the women and trailblazers of the past – and also offers hope for our present, and our futures.

Selby Wynn Schwartz is already an award-winning writer, but with After Sappho she joins that select band of authors who have been longlisted for the Booker for their debut novel.

Schwartz is the author of The Bodies of Others: Drag Dances and their Afterlives, which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in LGBTQ Nonfiction and won the Sally Banes Prize from the American Society of Theatre Research. Her forthcoming novella A Life in Chameleons, due out in 2023, won the Reflex Press Novella Award. The author of numerous published articles, Schwartz holds a PhD in comparative literature (Italian/French) from the University of California, Berkeley and currently teaches writing at Stanford University.