Go to New York State Writers Institute
Kate Walbert
photo credit: © Jerry Bauer
October 11, 2001

With Susan Minot

8:00 p.m. Joint Reading
Recital Hall, PAC

UAlbany, Uptown Campus

The Gardens of Kyoto

KATE WALBERT made an impressive debut with the publication of Where She Went (1998), a collection of interlinked stories about the lives and travels of a mother and daughter. As a "company wife," Marion moves frequently, a lifestyle that never permits her to form a stable identity. Her daughter Rebecca, by contrast, travels with the intent of "finding herself," but only becomes more and more rootless in the process. The New York Times named Where She Went a Notable Book of 1998 and said that it "contains many quick flashes of beauty. . .it goes far and takes us with it."

"One of the season's most promising new writers." - Publisher's Weekly

"A writer we should watch for in years to come." - Booklist

Walbert's newest novel The Gardens of Kyoto (2001, Scribner, ISBN 0-684-86948-9) is a bittersweet story about the love and friendship between two red-headed cousins, a boy and a girl, prior to World War II. The tale is told in flashback by Ellen, and begins with the knowledge that Randall died long ago in the Battle of Iwo Jima. The novel is based on Walbert's Pushcart Prize and O. Henry Award-winning story of the same name.

Walbert has published fiction and articles in the Paris Review, Double Take, The New York Times, and numerous other publications. She has received fellowships from the national endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Kate Walbert teaches writing at Yale University and lives in New York City and Stony Creek, Connecticut.

"Threads of secrecy criss-cross the landscape of Walbert's lovely first novel. . .She is a powerful storyteller who delivers the unexpected with great gentleness. Highly recommended." - Library Journal (starred review)

"Beautifully written. . .an engaging and unique novel." - Booklist

"Kate Walbert's fine, delicate prose captures voices that w don't hear much anymore, and she guides us from past to present, and from death to life, with affectionate detail and deep understanding. The Gardens of Kyoto is a ghost story, a mystery, a love story, and an intentionally modest chronicle of the middle part of this past century." - Amy Bloom

"A fine debut novel--a strong story, written with the grace and poignancy that hindsight brings." - Edna O'Brien