“Sierra, I want to be your friend.” —Margaret Edson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Wit
“Sierra Shuck-Sparer is one of the leading, young writers of her generation—this book will be part of her legacy.” —Indya Kincannon
Lady Sunflower is an achingly poignant collection written by Sierra Shuck-Sparer when she found herself grappling with the unimaginable: high-risk medulloblastoma. At the age of fifteen, Sierra was thrust into her harrowing battle against Gertrude (the name she gave her cancer). She faced relentless treatments and surgeries all while trying to retain her identity as a teenager heading into her college years. Sierra chronicled her journey through diagnosis, relapses, and treatment stages using a remarkable blend of heart-rending poetry, introspective essays and songs, zines, and curated playlists. This collection is a radiant call to raise awareness about pediatric cancer and a moving glimpse into Sierra’s humorous, heartbreaking, and sanguine view of the world around her.
Shuck-Sparer is a part-time poet and artist and a full-time student at the
Georgia Institute of Technology, majoring in healthcare and public policy.
She enjoys making earrings and other art, collecting tiny things, reading,
and making random movie references from the 20 movies she watches over and
over again (“You were right, I was less right”). When she’s not at school,
she lives in Knoxville, TN, with her cat, beagle, brother, parents, and
Gertrude, who she has known for years and is continuing to try to evict.