- October 24, 2019
- 7:00 pm
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Sasha Sagan was raised by secular parents, the astronomer Carl Sagan and the writer and producer Ann Druyan. They taught her that the natural world and vast cosmos are full of profound beauty, that science reveals truths more wondrous than any myth or fable.
When Sasha herself became a mother, she began her own hunt for the natural phenomena behind our most treasured occasions—from births to deaths, holidays to weddings, anniversaries, and more—growing these roots into a new set of rituals for her young daughter that honor the joy and significance of each experience without relying on religious frameworks.
Sasha’s first book, For Small Creatures Such as We, is part memoir, part guidebook, and part social history—a luminous exploration of Earth’s marvels that require no faith in order to be believed.
Join author Carolyn Cooke for a conversation with Sasha about rituals, her experiences celebrating life itself, and the power of our families and beliefs to bring us together.
Copies of Sasha Sagan’s book, For Small Creatures Such as We, will be available for sale at this event.
CIIS students, staff, and faculty receive discounts on all events. CIIS Public Programs Members receive a 20% discount on all events. Contact us for more information at email@example.com. Please note that we will check your ID for proof of eligibility on arrival at event.
Sasha Sagan holds a degree in Dramatic Literature from NYU and has worked as a television producer, filmmaker, editor, writer, and speaker in New York, Boston, and London. Her essays and interviews on death, history, and ritual through a secular lens have appeared in New York Magazine, O, the Oprah Magazine, Literary Hub, Mashable, The Violet Book, and elsewhere. Her short film, co-written and produced with Kirsten Dunst, was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and was one of two films chosen to close the 2010 Cannes Film Festival’s Critics Week ceremony. She regularly speaks on ways science can inform our celebrations and how we mark the passage of time. For Small Creatures Such as We is her first book.
Carolyn Cooke (MFA, Columbia University, BA, Smith College) is the author of two collections of short fiction and a novel. Her most recent book, Amor and Psycho, was named one of the ten best books of 2013 by Publishers Weekly. Her novel, Daughters of the Revolution, was named one of the ten best books of 2011 by The San Francisco Chronicle and one of the Reviewers' Favorite novels of that year by The New Yorker Magazine. Her debut collection of fiction, The Bostons, was a winner of the 2002-2004 PEN/ Bingham Award, a finalist for the PEN/L.L. Winship Award, a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.
Her fiction has appeared in AGNI, Gargoyle, The Gettysburg Review, The Idaho Review, Mission at Tenth Inter-Arts Journal, New England Review, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, StoryQuarterly and in two volumes each of Best American Short Stories and The PEN/ O. Henry Prize Stories. Her nonfiction and reviews have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, Contemporary Literary Criticism and The Nation. A recipient of fellowships from Bread Loaf, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the Djerassi Foundation, Macdowell, Ucross Foundation, Virginia Studio Center and the Corporation of Yaddo, she directs the interdisciplinary MFA Programs at CIIS. Photo credit is Nye’ Lyn Tho.