Setting the Wire is a memoir of postpartum psychosis and a meditation on containment: what we hold and what holds us together. A lyric exploration of motherhood, mental illness, and familial ties, Sarah Townsend’s debut work weaves together personal anecdote, film, music, visual art, and psychology. Setting the Wire is a visceral reflection on the experience of fragmentation as a young psychotherapist and new mother. 


the fish

Click to listen to Sarah's interview with writer/musician Cameron Dezen Hammon.

"Taut, lyrical, wise writing.”

– Claire Dederer, author of Love and Trouble 


"Townsend drops us masterfully into a state of mind almost over the edge but never completely."

– Theo Pauline Nestor, author of Writing Is My Drink 


“This memoir has . . . water and earth. Body and mind. Something like ‘a shard’ between.”

– Bhanu Kapil

Order your copy here.


Reading and In Conversation

with Mary Mosseau

6pm, September 17th, 2019

Gibson's Bookstore

Concord, NH

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Reading and In Conversation

with Sara McCrea '21

7pm, September 19th, 2019

R.J. Julia Booksellers

Middletown, CT

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Joint Reading with Joan Fiset

3pm, September 29th, 2019

Elliott Bay Book Company

Seattle, WA

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© 2019 | Sarah Townsend | All Rights Reserved