Happily: Essays on Motherhood and Fairytales


Sabrina Orah Mark is a fiction writer and prose poet who reinvents fairy tales to explore issues of motherhood, race and identity.

Artist Bio

In 2017, Sabrina Orah Mark visited Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Israel, and saw Bruno Schulz’s rescued frescoes—fairytale figures peering out from under almost 80 years of whitewash. Mark’s essay project, Happily, considers the relationship between these cracked fairy tales and the Holocaust. In this new phase of her ongoing work, Happily—which began as a monthly column in The Paris Review— expands into a collection of writing on fairy tales and motherhood, using the fairy tale as a searchlight to shed light on the here and now. It is influenced by Mark’s personal history of raising two Black sons in the South, a culture and geography far from her own upbringing in Orthodox New York City.


Award Year
2021
Status

In Progress

Sabrina Orah Mark photographed by Sarah Baugh in an uninhabited house built in 1925 in Athens, Georgia.

Sabrina Orah Mark

Athens, GA

Sabrina Orah Mark is a fiction writer and prose poet who reinvents fairy tales to explore issues of motherhood, race and identity. She writes a monthly column on fairy tales and motherhood for The Paris Review entitled Happily, and is the author of the poetry collections The Babies and Tsim Tsum. Her first book of fiction, Wild Milk, was released by Dorothy, a publishing project. Mark earned an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD from the University of Georgia. Awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She has taught at Agnes Scott College, University of Georgia, Rutgers University, The University of Iowa, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Goldwater Hospital, and throughout the New York City and Iowa public school systems. She lives, writes, and teaches in Athens, Georgia.

Photo: Sarah Baugh