Sarah Dessen Biography

Sarah Dessen


Type: Novelist

Born: June 6, 1970, Evanston, Illinois, United S


Sarah Dessen was inspired by her parents’ profession even before she began writing. Her parents are both English professors at the University of North Carolina teaching classicism and Shakespearean literature. She enrolled herself for studying creative writing and English at University of North Carolina. Her job was as a waitress at the famous Flying Burrito Restaurant. She began writing alongside waitressing. During day Dessen would devote her time to writing drafts and at night she waitressed. Later after her publication of the first novel she quit the job for teaching position at University of North Carolina in English department.

Most of Sarah Dessen’s novels deal with the change in youth’s personality as they go through some sort of tragedy or loss. The general themes that run through her novels comprise isolation, emotional distance among family members and a progressive change in people’s personality.


  • 1996 – That Summer
  • 1998 – Someone Like You
  • 1999 – Keeping the Moon
  • 2000 – Dreamland
  • 2002 – This Lullaby
  • 2004 – The Truth About Forever
  • 2006 – Just Listen
  • 2008 – Lock and Key
  • 2009 – Along for the Ride
  • 2010 - Infinity (novella)
  • 2011 – What Happened to Goodbye
  • 2013 – The Moon and More
  • 2015 – Saint Anything

    Film adaptations:

  • The 2003 film How to Deal starring Mandy Moore was based on both Someone Like You and That Summer.

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