Surprise! Family Finds Missing Sarah Getty Manuscript

June 29, 2023
The Womb of God is a feminist science-fiction novel written by the late award-winning author Sarah Getty. Photo by Doris Smith
The Womb of God is a feminist science-fiction novel written by the late award-winning author Sarah Getty. Photo by Doris Smith

In his Christmas letter to friends last year, Bedford resident David Getty announced he was surprised and pleased to have discovered a missing manuscript by his late wife, Sarah. He had recently found a file folder in Sarah’s study that held three 5 ¼ floppy disks on which were 26 chapters of Sarah’s very first novel, a feminist science-fiction work she had titled “The Womb of God.”

She had completed this manuscript in 1996 but had never sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately, Sarah died of cancer in 2009 at the age of 66. David knew about the book, but had never been able to find it until one day while going through her files once more, he came upon a folder with just the initials WOG. Voila!  It was the missing novel.

The problem with David’s new discovery was its floppy disk format. Fortunately, David was able to connect with a person in California who had a working disk drive that could read the disks and copy them onto a thumb drive.  

When the eagerly awaited thumb drive arrived, David was ready to edit the book, but half of the story on the thumb drive could not be read. David was dismayed and afraid that much of the book had been lost.  

The problem turned out to be with the thumb drive, not the disks, and with a bit of effort, the remainder of the manuscript was retrieved.  

With the help of a friend, Peg Miller, David edited “The Womb of God” from the thumb drive and submitted it to Amazon where the book can be purchased at https://a.co/d/fngbnQA.

David teases the readers with a brief snippet of the story here: “The heroine, Aylin, runs away from the male-less society in which she has been raised to find her twin brother, Nohl, from whom she has been separated since childhood. In her people’s mythology, their planet of origin was spoiled by the violence and greed of men, after which God angrily destroyed it, sparing only a small band of women who left the planet carrying the secret of cloning.”

Sarah wrote two other novels, “Spend All You Have” and “Widdershins,” after “The Womb of God.” 

She was also a well-known poet. Some of the published books of poems include “The Land of Milk and Honey” which won a Cambridge Poetry Award in 2002 and “Bring Me Her Heart” which received nominations for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. 

She finished her third book of poetry, “Clap Hands,” two months before her death. Her poem “Spring Cleaning” is read each spring at the First Parish in Bedford where she had been a member. 

In addition to being a writer and an editor, she was also a creative writing coach. Sarah taught writing locally and around the country. She was also a resident poet at the Ragdale Foundation in Illinois, Villa Vergiliana in Italy, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts.  

Sending the book to Amazon was one of the ways that David and his daughter, Lisa, could celebrate Sarah’s life. 

David plans to contact producers of Netflix and AppleTV+ in hopes of finding someone who will produce “The Womb of God” for streaming. The visual descriptions throughout the book should make it a good candidate for a movie.

David said, “I like to believe that Sarah would be pleased that I have published her writings. It has been 13 years since she died.” 

During these years, he has self-published all three of her novels, and a book of her poetry, and while he does not think there are any more novels, there are some short stories and some poems that have not been published. Perhaps he has more editing and publishing in his future.

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Doris Smith is an Arts and Cultural Reporter for The Bedford Citizen. She was supported by a grant from the Bedford Cultural Council from December 2022 - June 2023.

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