What Will Outlast Me?
forthcoming from Unsolicited Press, Summer 2023
There are reminders everywhere that we—and everyone we love—will die. In this essay collection, Sarah K. Lenz explores moments when death drew near. She deftly weaves stories from a chorus of voices foretelling mortality: "Here's where I want you to spread my ashes when I die.” “There’s been a fire. I couldn’t see who the EMTs loaded into the ambulance.” “Your three great uncles were killed by the same strike of lightning.” “You have a carcinoma. I’m sorry, it’s not what we were expecting.” “The police just shot and killed that man. Look, there’s a bullet hole in your car.”
These moments--though scary--also reveal a sublime, breath-catching quality, calling us to see how life is gorgeously finite. Lenz shows her reader that gratitude and redemption exist in painful places, our legacies form from unlikely fragments, and that love, being ever tangled up with loss, outlasts most things.
Get a free, sneak peak of the collection's first essay, "Driving the Section Line," with seven of Lenz's original photographs. Order here. Read the story inspired by a trip Lenz and her father took to show her where he wants his ashes spread in a remote part of rural central Nebraska, and where she explores the power of love over regret.