Cover image for The Book of Sarah By Sarah Lightman

The Book of Sarah

Sarah Lightman


$25.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08473-2

240 pages
6.7" × 9.4"
240 color illustrations
Co-published with Myriad Editions

Graphic Medicine

The Book of Sarah

Sarah Lightman

“Sarah Light­man is one of our lead­ing lights in Jew­ish-themed comix, both as a schol­ar and a prac­ti­tion­er.”


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There is no “Book of Sarah” in the Bible, so artist Sarah Lightman sets out to make her own. In this quietly subversive graphic autobiography, Lightman follows the urge to find herself in the midst of training to become an artist, observing her faith, navigating family and romantic relationships, and learning to be a mother.

Drawings of a Jewish children’s Bible, a package of crackers, a Lower East Side walk-up, Columbia University, and the outside of St. Paul’s Girls’ School: books and streets, buildings, objects, and portraits of people fill this coming-of-age story set in northwest London and New York City. The Book of Sarah traces the author’s journey from modern Jewish orthodoxy to a feminist Judaism, as she searches between the complex layers of family and family history that she inherited and inhabited. While the act of drawing came easily to Sarah, letting go of past failures, attachments, and expectations did not. These are the focus of her astonishingly beautiful pages, as we bear witness to her making the world her own.

Poignantly narrated and illustrated with charcoal, pencil, watercolor, and oil, this is an intimate story of a self-in-becoming.

“Sarah Light­man is one of our lead­ing lights in Jew­ish-themed comix, both as a schol­ar and a prac­ti­tion­er.”
“I love The Book of Sarah. This is a deeply layered work, from the elegant, evocative writing to the diverse range of materials—charcoal, oil paint, and watercolor as well as graphite pencil. The Book of Sarah is a memoir that is rich with revelations for the reader to uncover.”
“There is so much more here worth analysis and praise—the use of a carton of eggs in a reverie about contemplating pregnancy; the distantly rhymed images of her therapist's shoes, the first male, the second tellingly female.”
“Highly recommended.”
“While searching for a scaffolding to build her life on, we see it was there all along in her art and in The Book of Sarah, Lightman leads us to a place that is both gorgeous and profound.”
The Book of Sarah is an extraordinary treasure. The paintings and drawings are luscious and incredibly evocative, with the visceral quality of the thick paint and the layered graphite. The writing is heartfelt and honest, searching and tender. In The Book of Sarah art and words come together to chronicle a self-in-becoming: precarious and sometimes delicate, but, like a tenacious plant sending out tendrils of new growth, this memoir is simultaneously filled with powerful, gripping revelations of strength.”

Sarah Lightman is a London-based artist, curator, editor, and writer. She is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Arts at Birkbeck College, University of London, and editor of the award-winning book Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics.