Entering Sappho by Sarah Dowling (Coach House Books, paperback)
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Publisher Marketing: Driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, you come to a road sign: Entering Sappho. Nothing remains of the town, just trash at the side of the highway and thick, wet bush. Can Sappho's breathless eroticism tell us anything about settlement -- about why we're here in front of this sign? Mixing historical documents, oral histories, and experimental translations of the original lesbian poet's works, this book combines documentary and speculation, surveying a century in reverse. This town is one of many with a classical name. Take it as a symbol: perhaps in a place that no longer exists, another kind of future might be possible.