Kate Walbert biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Kate Walbert
© Deborah Donenfeld

Kate Walbert

Kate Walbert Biography

Kate Walbert is the author of the award-winning books Our Kind, The Gardens of Kyoto, Where She Went, and A Short History of Women. Her plays include Year of the Woman, Quiet, She Said and Elsewhere.

Walbert was born in New York City but raised in Georgia, Texas, Japan, and Pennsylvania. After graduating from Choate Rosemary Hall, she attended Northwestern University's School of Communication before earning a Master's degree in English from NYU.

Walbert was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Connecticut Commission on the Arts Fellowship. From 2011-2012, she was a Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars at the NY Public Library. Her latest novel is The Sunken Cathedral (2015). She lives in New York City with her husband and daughters.

Kate Walbert's website

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Interview

An Interview with Kate Walberg

What was your initial inspiration for The Gardens of Kyoto?
My father's cousin, Charles Webster, was killed on Iwo Jima during what they called a "mopping up" operation -- essentially after the battle had been won. Charles was the only son of his beloved Aunt Maude, and they lived just a mile or so down the road from the land my father's family farmed on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. My father had been quite close to his cousin, his own brothers off fighting in Europe, but he never spoke of him to us except to describe the day Aunt Maude received the telegram announcing Charles' death. It was a single image, really, not a story at all. He simply recalled how Aunt Maude came and sat with his own mother at the kitchen table. The image stuck with me -- two silent women at the table, one with sons in battle in Europe, the other with a son dead in the Pacific -- and I supposed I wrote the initial story to try to give voice to that image.

You originally wrote The Gardens of Kyoto as a short story? How did you come to expand it into a novel?
The voice of the story surprised me. The narrator wasn't my father at all, but a woman of my mother's generation who had ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Kate Walbert at BookBrowse
The Sunken Cathedral jacket A Short History of Women jacket Our Kind jacket The Gardens of Kyoto jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Kate Walbert but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Amy Bloom

    Amy Bloom

    Amy Bloom is the author of three novels, three collections of short stories, a children's book and a collection of essay. She has been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award... (more)

  • Mary Costello

    Mary Costello

    Mary Costello grew up in Galway and now lives in Dublin. Her 2012 short-story collection, The China Factory, was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award and short-listed for an Irish Book Award. Her stories have been ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Sunken Cathedral

    Try:
    Academy Street
    by Mary Costello

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