The New York Times Sunday Book Review

Here is an excerpt from Kate’s recent review of William T. Vollmann’s new story collection Last Stories and Other Stories, which she was delighted to be asked to write for The New York Times:

“In a recent Vanity Fair article, the critic James Wood was quoted as saying, “You can be a good storyteller . . . and still not be a serious storyteller.” He went on to claim that a novel “is not a serious one” when “it tells a fantastical, even ridiculous tale, based on absurd and improbable premises.” Taken to its necessary and logical conclusion, this statement excludes an entire line of “serious” works by writers like William Shakespeare, ­Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges, Angela Carter, Gabriel García Márquez and so many others — including, yes, William T. Vollmann. Really? Speaking of survivors, and despite such gratuitous attacks, fabulism remains a most vital form.”

Review in Slate

“You cannot argue with a fairy tale,” writes Katy Waldman in Slate, in a lovely review of the “hauntingly strange fairy tale collection” How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales. She continues, “Adulthood does not lack for capricious brutality and loss. What it does lack, for the most part, is animate toys jumping out of windows.” (Yes, dolls defenestrate in Kate’s new collection.) Thank you Slate!

Kate Bernheimer © 2014 | website by Noah Saterstrom