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Kathleen West Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kathleen West is a renowned writer and teacher from Minneapolis, Minnesota, US. She is known for writing contemporary, fiction, and adult stories. West made her debut in the field of writing in 2020 with the book called Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes. Prior to her debut, she worked as a teacher for more than twenty years in Minnesota. West used to teach middle-grade and high school students. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College in English and has also earned a Master’s degree from Minnesota University in literacy education. Author West’s first book was picked as a ‘best book’ by several literary magazines and journals such as Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, New York Post, Real Simple, and People Magazine.

As a reader, she has a particular interest in the topics of competitive parenting, motherhood, the elusiveness of the work-life balance, and ambition. West considers herself a proud Minnesotan. She has lived all her life in Minnesota and currently resides in Minneapolis with her loving husband, their two sons, and a Goldendoodle. West has good experience as a marathon runner. She is proud to have graduated to the division of 40 to 60-year-olds of her running club. Since her childhood, West has been a devoted writer and reader. However, she could not find time to publish anything concrete due to her other commitments of life and career.

When she reached her late thirties, she realized that it was time for her to start taking a serious interest in the mythical story that she has always imagined. West felt delighted to write about parents, teachers, and kids. It was her experience of more than 20 years as a schoolteacher that inspired her to write her first novel. Her teaching career provided her with enough school-related experiences and thoughts to develop a story with their help. Recently, West has begun working on the second book of her career. She is expected to release it at the end of the year. West was quite amused by the worldwide success and popularity received by her first book. She is now filled with confidence and motivation to write many more entertaining novels in the times to come.

Author West has started writing on a full-time basis now. But, during her teaching career, she used to write only in her spare time, mostly a couple of hours before heading to school or before going to bed. One thing that majorly influenced West’s writing is her consistent reading habit. Funny, insightful, and creative writers always inspire her. A few writers that she follows the most include Maria Semple, Celeste Ng., and Liane Moriarty. Even the teachers at her school have influenced her in many ways. It was a 5th-grade teacher who had suggested that she would write a book someday.

West received great support from her teachers, who nurtured her and provided many practicing opportunities. Also, the community of authors she has come across in her publishing journey so far has been generous enough to give time, advice, and encouragement to her. Author West thinks the best part about signing a publishing contract is coming across and interacting with a large pool of talented people. It has been a great experience for her to chat with such people. West’s publishing team has also been incredibly supportive of her. It filled her heart with joy when some of her former students reached out to her after reading her first novel and gave compliments for her excellent work. Whenever a reader goes through her work, West hopes that her story entertains him and makes him laugh throughout. She also hopes that readers empathize with her central characters and root for them in spite of knowing their flaws.

The debut book written by author Kathleen West is entitled ‘Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes’. It was released by Berkley in February 2020. The primary characters created by West in this novel include Isobel Johnson and Julian Abbott. This book is perfect for the fans of Small Admissions and Where’d You Go, Bernadette. It is a cleverly observed and wry debut about the privileged Liston Heights High, its students, overworked teachers, managing parents. West has shown that the students get caught in the middle of the parents and teachers and have a fallout when the privileged bubble bursts. The novel opens by introducing Julia Abbot as a stage mother. She keeps interfering in the lives of her children and her world revolves around it.

Isobel Johnson is depicted as the teacher of Julia’s children. She sees Julia as a helicopter parent and is well aware that such people come with the territory. Isobel has the talent to bond with her students effortlessly and this quality makes her liked by her whole class. Julia resents such teachers because she thinks that children seem to get away from their parents due to their growing closeness to teachers. Her resentment reaches new heights when her teenage children turn rebellious and they get pulled much further away from one another. All her career, Isobel has taught at Liston Heights. She has managed to do so by sidestepping into the high-powered families of her community. Later, she receives a voicemail in which a threatening voice accuses her of carrying out Anti-Americanism and a liberal agenda. Though Isobel is taken aback by the threatening voicemail, she doesn’t pay any heed to it and continues with her work. In fact, she doubles down on the social-justice ideals.

On the other hand, Julia seems obsessed with the winter musical’s casting of the high school and shoves the female lead inadvertently. Her act gets caught in the cctv camera on the school campus and the video goes viral. It beings far-reaching consequences for her and her whole family. Julia and Isobel go on to unite and discover a common ground at a least expected place. They go on to confront a secret gossip site on Facebook that seems to be stirring trouble for the fractured, tumultuous community of the school. The women decide to take it upon themselves to make things right in spite of having faced humiliation publicly before. Author West was praised for offering sharp, believable characters and an interesting storyline in this book.

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