Kate Walbert Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Gardens of Kyoto (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Our Kind (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Short History of Women (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sunken Cathedral (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
His Favorites (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Where She Went (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
She Was Like That (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Best American Short Stories 2007(2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kate Walbert is a well-established novelist and short story writer who was born on 13 August 1961. Currently, Kate Walbert resides in New York City. Walbert’s outstanding novel, Our Kind was a finalist for the National Book Award. A Short Story on Women, her other story was also a finalist in the Los Angeles book awards. It was also named among the top 10 books of 2010. Despite the fact that Walbert was born in New York City, she was raised in different cities and states including, Japan, Pennsylvania, and Texas. After her successful graduation from Choate Rosemary Hall, Kate Walbert, then attended the School of Communication, North Western University. Later on, she was admitted to NYU, where she was awarded a Master’s degree.

Among her various publications, Walbert’s short story fiction was featured in The Paris Review, New York Review and the Best American Short Stories. Kate Walbert then went ahead to publish four novels and one short story collection. The Gardens of Kyoto, the author’s debut novel, was named as the winner of the Connecticut book awards and was also a finalist in the Dublin Awards.

The Garden of Kyoto

Kate Walbert has not only chosen a perfectly fitting title but also a perfectly misleading title for her rather elusive and eloquent first novel. As a matter of fact, the Garden of Kyoto is a book within a book, that was given to Ellen by her cousin Randal. In the spring of the year 1945, Randal is declared missing and even presumed dead, towards the closing days of the Pacific wars. The Garden of Kyoto is a book about gardens that Ellen has never seen before. Kate Walbert’s book is somewhat a homage to the exceedingly famous Kyoto gardens, the Ryoan Ji. The Ryoan Ji is a deceptively simple arrangement of fifteen rocks that have been set on raked sand, where 14 of them are only visible at a time. Just like the look and the appearance of the garden, the shape of the story changes with respect to the reader’s angle of approach. As expected, the plot of the Gardens of Kyoto moves back and forth from a hotel located on Paris’s left bank to the Maryland flatland to Long Island Military hospital as well.

The various hidden characters, about to be met or long gone, gracefully advance and recede as well. They are also shown to either alter their assumptions and experiences of a dreamy, diffident girl who appears to be playing a smaller part in a much smaller stage. In Randall’s didantic conversations with Ellen, his younger cousin, he often acknowledges the shadowy figure of his mother Jeneath, whose death when he was still an exceedingly young boy, left him stranded on the shores of Maryland. However, as Ellen recalls, her brief relationship with Randall, several other key players emerge in the process. As the story progresses, even after his death, Randall takes another significant role, as an imagined audience for Ellen’s first ever adult romance as well as a ghostly tutor. With that said, the Garden’s of Kyoto is a luminous, yet elusive and enormously powered book, that is not only filled with truths but also beauty as well.

Where She Went

Moving through a succession of slow motion vignettes, the author’s meticulous and unshakably sad collection of linked narratives offers glimpses into the lives of two ladies. One of them is condemned by her husband career of wandering from one middle sized America city to another. The other is a daughter, who loves to take several European vacations with the hope of living up to her mother’s dream of romance and fun. Where She Went is another highly entertaining book from Kate Walbert. Trapped in a conventional 36-year-old marriage and hollowed out after the sudden death of her second child, Marion Clark pictures the world of the glamour of the letters and the postcards of her first and only child. The distinction between traveling by necessity and traveling for pleasure is analogous to the other distinctions between the opportunities and lives of daughter and mother.

Just as Marion once did, Rebecca heads to New York while searching for success and love as well. However, this time around, Rebecca did not have the husband minded purpose, which guided so many women who were working in the 1950’s. Melancholy and aimless when compared to her mother, Rebecca moves from one lazy affair to another before eventually drifting into marriage. During her honeymoon, Rebecca asks for a divorce. She does all this while wishing she could live to her mother’s expectation of an adventurous life. There are moments when these enigmatic stories are overworked and precarious, straining towards a hush of despair. Nonetheless, at their frequent best, these stories resonate with surprising pathos, and such moments establish Kate Walbert as one of the most promising, eccentric new writers. If you are a fan of young adult novels, then you are going to fall in love with Where She Went. Apart from being a quick read, it is also a great summer book.

A Short History of Women

Nearly everything about this new novel by Kate Walbert is roguishly smart. A Short History of Women may either connote modesty or grandiose. History sounds grandiose while Short sounds modest, especially when affixed to a work of fiction. One of the major accomplishment of this book is that it persuades the readers that this novel does not hold any less currency that it did back in the Late Victorian era. However, the author’s primary concern, unlike those of the characters that she has created, is not political. Walbert’s writing wears both its ideology and intelligence lightly. Just like her last novel, Our Kind, which became a National Book Award finalist, consisted of several linked stories; 15 lean, concentrated characters that hopscotch through time and alternate between the lives of one Dorothy Trevor Townsend, a British suffragist and several of her descendants. A majority of her stories have been previously published as standalone novels.

The Sunken Cathedral

Apart from being lyrical, the Sunken Cathedral has been brilliantly written and moving as well. The Sunken Cathedral revolves around a cast of characters who reside in contemporary New York against a backdrop of aggressive and threatening weather. Among these characters, there are two French widows, Marie and Simone, who managed to escape from World War II Europe. The Sunken Cathedral addresses two major themes; the themes of loss and the theme of aging in an exceedingly compelling way.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kate Walbert

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