“Many have written about grief, but not like this. Sarah Hahn Campbell’s Grief Map is absolutely astonishing — in intimacy, extrapolation, and even healing. It is not composed of ‘however many stages,’ not a ‘how to’ or recovery text. Rather, it is one woman’s unique and deeply moving map of joy, loss, and deciding to continue living. I have never read anything even remotely like it, and enthusiastically recommend it.”
—Margaret Randall, poet/writer
“Maybe my map will help a little. If only to comfort, to say: someone else visited this place; someone else survived to make this map.”
When Sarah Hahn Campbell learned of the sudden and inexplicable death of her partner, Lia, she was thousands of miles away from the Alaska town where they made a life together. Lia’s mental deterioration had forced her to flee to protect her daughter’s safety and her own emotional well-being — but she never stopped loving Lia, never believed their relationship over. The unexpected news of Lia’s death plunged her into terrible grief, guilt, and self-doubt, raising painful questions she couldn’t find the answers to.
Grief Map is a beautiful and unflinchingly honest record of the aftermath, a lyrical guide to her journey in the landscape of love through loss and beyond, to the rediscovery of hope and the possibility of happiness. With passion and fearless dedication, Campbell explores the history of her relationship, her discovery of lesbian identity, and the innumerable gifts and hardships of love to offer an account that is part memoir, part poetry, part elegy — a map that is universal, and will speak to anyone who has loved.
Sarah Hahn Campbell is a lesbian essayist and novelist who lives in Denver, Colorado, where she teaches high school English and parents a beautiful little girl with her wife, Meredith. Campbell has published work in a variety of publications, including Curve, Room Magazine, Sinister Wisdom, Iris Brown Lit Mag, and Adoptive Families Magazine. Her novella, The Beginning of Us, came out in January 2014 from Riptide. Originally from a farm in eastern Iowa, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University and writes a monthly column called “Subversions” for Brain Mill Press.