State News

Barnard writer/publicist unclasps velvet rope to reveal adventures as ‘Girl on the Prow’

BARNARD—When life hands you lemons … Hang on for the ride! Sara Widness, a Barnard resident, did just that! She played a pregnant game of ping pong in the psychiatric ward; dressed to the nines on the world’s most famous train; baked 18 loaves of bread a day at her East Poultney country store; entertained journalists while dining on risotto draped in gold foil… according to the press release about her new book “Girl on the Prow,” birthed March 1, 2023. In it she tells her story that includes reminiscences, among many others, of promoting skiing in Vermont in the 1970s; writing up a storm for the Montpelier Times-Argus; and observing humankind while running a bed and breakfast accommodation in Barnard.

The stories trace the trajectory of a fresh-off-the-farm girl from Oregon who cuts her cultural teeth in Europe; works her own domestic theater as a young mother before playing on an international stage (she has visited 64 countries); shelters in place as crises and trauma descend; and, she says, “maybe, just maybe, is at peace in this tiny village.”

Vestal virgins deserve adjectives like vulnerable and gullible. Women should run as fast as they can away from these traits. She didn’t. At the end of the marathon, her shadows – or most of them – were plunging onto her finish line. Shadows are supplicants, begging her to forgive herself, or to forgive others or simply to accept fate.

Sara Widness did whatever she had to do to put food on her family’s table. This included stints as: reporter for a national wire service, lifestyle editor for a daily newspaper, freelance writer for magazines, radio host, proprietor of country store, teacher, publicist for ski resorts and New York-based public relations companies, founder of two boutique public relations agencies boasting world-class clients, and founder and proprietor of a small inn in rural Vermont. She holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Stanford University.

“Girl on the Prow” is available for $19.95 in paperback wherever books are sold and is also available as an ebook for $4.99.

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