Sara Faring | The Tenth Girl
The Tenth Girl
by Sara Faring
At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.
Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.
One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi's existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.
September 24th, 2019
Introduce yourself and your debut novel!
I’m Sara Faring, author of the Argentine gothic psychological thriller The Tenth Girl, out September 24th. Imagine if Shirley Jackson’s books and Neil Gaiman’s books had a feral baby raised in the wilds of Patagonia.
What’s the most surprising part about your debut journey so far?
The good friends I’ve made & the mood swings we have all endured.
Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!
I’m loving J. Kasper Kramer’s The Story That Cannot Be Told at the moment—it weaves Romanian folklore into the story of a girl sent to live with her estranged grandparents in a remote mountain village during the final months of the Communist regime. The cover is gorgeously Miyazaki-esque.
Who is your favorite character?
Yesi (silver-haired Shirley Temple outside, razor-sharp Katharine Hepburn inside). Pure wit, grit, and imagination.
What’s a cool thing about your book that isn’t in the blurb?
The second chapter introduces readers to a fresh point of view that wheedled its way into my head one night and wouldn’t leave. This book could not exist without Angel’s inky-strange inner life.
Describe your writing space.
I’m desperately trying to be less precious about the space I work in because I’d like to learn to do my best work anywhere. My only workspace requirements right now are relative silence (headphones work) and some kind of gimmicky beverage (like peppermint iced tea, or mate kombucha, or an Arnold Palmer, or…).
How do you select character names?
I grew up in a family that treasures nicknames—they are picked based on rhythm and the strangest, smallest, most perfect reasons. My characters’ names are selected the same way. “Mavi” was the nickname of a free-spirited person I admired as a child. It also happens to sound like “my life” in French (ma vie).
What are two of your favorite covers of all time?
WILDER GIRLS by Rory Power—all of the artwork by Turkish artist Aykut Aydogdu haunts me.
STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel—the lit-up tents underneath a star-speckled dark sky hint beautifully at the magic of the book itself.
Share a favorite recipe!
My abuela’s “ñoquis” in her own words… “Cocino dos papas medianas y hago el pure. Luego agrego un huevo y un pote de ricota chico. Agrego harina hasta formar una masa que no se pegue en los dedos. Luego hago los palos y corto la masa en pedacitos.”
à “I cook two medium-sized potatoes and make purée. Then I add an egg and a small container of ricotta. I add flour until the dough doesn’t stick to my fingers. Then I make long sticks (rolling the dough out) and cut the dough into little pieces.”
These can be frozen or boiled immediately.
[SF note: She makes this with a wicked chicken and peppers sauce, which you can probably find me cooking on Instagram @sarafaring…]
Thanks for interviewing, Sara! I can't wait to take a spooky trip to Argentina on 9/24/19!
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