Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Sarah Dessen

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Occupation  Novelist
Subject  Young adult literature
Movies  How to Deal
Genre  Realistic fiction
Spouse  Jay Earl Marks (m. 2000)

Period  1996–present
Role  Writer
Nationality  American
Name  Sarah Dessen
Children  Sasha Clementine
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Born  Sarah Dessen June 6, 1970 (age 52) Evanston, Illinois, United States (1970-06-06)
Awards  Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction
Books  Just Listen, The Truth About Forever, This Lullaby, Along for the Ride, Saint Anything
Similar People  Rainbow Rowell, Clare Kilner, Neena Beber

Sarah dessen 2011 national book festival

Sarah Dessen (born June 6, 1970) is an American writer who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Bestselling author sarah dessen talks about the moon and more

Early life and education

Sarah Dessen Basketball Fried Pickles and Deb A QampA With Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen was born in Evanston, Illinois, on June 6, 1970. Dessen was born to Alan and Cynthia Dessen, both professors at the University of North Carolina.

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As a teenager, Dessen was very shy and quiet. She became involved with a 21-year-old when she was 15 but cut all contact with him shortly after. She has admitted in an interview that "for many years afterward, I took total blame for everything that happened between me and T. After all, I was a bad kid. I'd did drugs, I lied to my mom. You can't just hang out with a guy and not expect him to get ideas, I told myself. You should have known better. But maybe he should have. When I turned 21, I remember making a point, regularly, to look at teens and ask myself whether I'd want to hang out with them, much less date one. The answer was always a flat, immediate no. They were kids. I was an adult. End of story."

She worked at a children's shoe store when she was in high school at Chapel Hill High School. She was fired during the annual summer sidewalk sale.

Dessen dropped out of Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and later took some classes at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, graduating with highest honors in Creative Writing.


Dessen waitressed at the restaurant Flying Burrito in Chapel Hill while launching her writing career. She would write during the day and waitress at night. Her first book, That Summer, was published in 1996.

Dessen's Along for the Ride made the New York Times Best Sellers List.

Following the publication of Dreamland, Dessen taught at the University of North Carolina and wrote what would later become This Lullaby.

Some of her novels have been among the ALA's "Best Fiction for Young Adults" selections: That Summer (1997), Someone Like You (1999), Keeping the Moon (2000), Dreamland (2001), This Lullaby (2003), Just Listen (2007), and Along for the Ride (2010). Someone Like You was also one of the two winners of the 1999 "School Library Journal Best Book" award, and Keeping the Moon was the sole winner the next year.

In 2017, Dessen was awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her novels Dreamland (2001), Keeping the Moon (2000), Just Listen (2007), The Truth About Forever (2004), Along for the Ride (2010), What Happened to Goodbye? (2011), and This Lullaby (2003).

Most of Sarah Dessen’s novels deal with the change in youth’s personality as they go through some sort of tragedy or loss. The general themes that run through her novels comprise of isolation, emotional distance amongst family members, and a progressive change in people’s personality.

Film adaptations

The 2003 romantic comedy-drama film How to Deal starring Mandy Moore, Allison Janney, Dylan Baker, Patrick Gallagher and Trent Ford was based on both That Summer and Someone Like You.


Sarah Dessen Wikipedia