The Knowledge of Water

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About the author

Sarah Smith

SARAH SMITH STARTED TELLING stories as a child in Japan. Her sitter would tell her ghost stories at night, and the next morning she’d act them out on the school bus for an audience of terrified five-year-olds. Back in America, she lived in an unrestored Victorian house, where every morning she would help her grandmother haul coal and break sticks into kindling to light the household stove. She’s loved storytelling and history ever since.

She studied English at Harvard, where she spent Saturdays in the library reading mysteries, and film in London and Paris, where she sat next to Peter Cushing at a film show and got to pet Francis Bacon’s cat. While teaching English, she got interested in personal computers; she and two friends bought 3 of the first 5 PCs sold in Boston. She realized that software could help her plot bigger stories, and she’s never looked back.

Her bestselling series of Edwardian mysteries, starring Alexander von Reisden and Perdita Halley, has been published in 14 languages. Two of the books have been named New York Times Notable Books. The Vanished Child, the first book in the series, is being made into a musical in Canada. Sarah’s young adult ghost thriller, The Other Side of Dark, has won both the Agatha (for best YA mystery of the year) and the Massachusetts Book Award for best YA book of the year. Her Chasing Shakespeares, a novel about the Shakespeare authorship, has been called “the best novel about the Bard since Nothing like the Sun” (Samuel R. Delany) and has been turned into a play. 

Sarah lives in Boston with her family.