A Memoir

Sarah Einstein
Selected by John Philip Santos

A memoir of sharing vulnerability, unlikely friendships, and letting go


“Sarah Einstein is a natural storyteller, and her careful portrait of her mentally ill, homeless friend Mot is unflinching. Mot: A Memoir is heartbreaking yet at times gently funny and always delivered with immense, startling compassion. An entirely captivating work of literary nonfiction.”
—Dinty W. Moore, author of Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy

“Struggling in her marriage and as director of a drop-in center for adults with mental illness, the author meets a delusional, sixty-five-year-old homeless man. A moving, fully human portrait of the surprising companionship that grows between them, Mot shows us that to save others is to save ourselves.”
—Marcia Aldrich, author of Companion to an Untold Story

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At forty, Sarah Einstein is forced to face her own shortcomings. In the wake of an attempted sexual assault, she must come to terms with the facts that she is not tough enough for her job managing a local drop-in center for adults with mental illness and that her new marriage is already faltering. Just as she reaches her breaking point, she meets Mot, a homeless veteran who lives a life dictated by frightening delusion. She is drawn to the brilliant ways he has found to lead his own difficult life; traveling to Romania to get his teeth fixed because the United States doesn’t offer dental care to the indigent, teaching himself to use computers in public libraries, and even taking university classes while living out of doors.

Mot: A Memoir is the story of their unlikely friendship and explores what we can, and cannot, do for a person we love. In unsparing prose and with a sharp eye for detail, Einstein brings the reader into the world of Mot’s delusions and illuminates a life that would otherwise be hidden from us.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction

Page count: 168
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $24.95

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List price: $19.95

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List price: $24.95
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Sarah Einstein is a doctoral candidate in creative nonfiction at Ohio University. Her work has appeared in journals such as The Sun, Ninth Letter, PANK, and Fringe and has been awarded a Pushcart Prize. She is also a special topics editor for Brevity.