Kate Bernheimer is known as a fabulist vanguard—widely recognized for her role in igniting a contemporary fairy-tale movement. She has publishednovels, stories, children’s books, creative nonfiction, and essays on fairy tales, and has edited four influential fairy-tale anthologies.
Her most recent book is xo Orpheus: 50 New Myths (Penguin Books 2013), which follows her bestselling and World Fantasy Award winning collectionMy Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales with original stories written upon her invitation. For these collections, authors invited by Kate revisit traditional wonder tales in diverse styles and affects.
Her 2010 story collection Horse, Flower, Bird is “a collection readers won’t soon forget, one that redefines the fairy tale into something wholly original” (Booklist). Published by Coffee House Press, it includes illustrations by Rikki Ducornet. A second story collection called How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales is forthcoming from Coffee House Press in 2014 and is illustrated by Catherine Eyde. A trio of novels about three sisters—The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold, The Complete Tales of Merry Gold, and the forthcoming The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold—were published in 2001, 2008, and 2011 by one of the US’s oldest independent publishers, the innovative Fiction Collective 2. Kate’s first children's book, The Girl in The Castle inside The Museum(Random House/Schwartz & Wade Books), was illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli and was named one of the Best Books of 2008 by Publishers Weekly. She is proud to have published two more children’s books—The Lonely Book (with illustrations by the fabulous Chris Sheban), and The Girl Who Wouldn’t Brush Her Hair (illustrated by the phenomenal Jake Parker)—both also with Random House/Schwartz & Wade Books. Kate has also published fiction and literary nonfiction in such journals as Tin House, Western Humanities Review, Poetry International,Puerto del Sol, and The Massachusetts Review. Kate’s previous anthologies include Mirror, Mirror on The Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales (Anchor/Vintage 1998), and Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales (Wayne State University Press’s Series in Fairy-Tale Studies, 2008).
In 2005, she founded, and currently remains editor of, Fairy Tale Review, the leading literary journal dedicated to fairy tales as a contemporary art form. With her brother, Andrew Bernheimer of Bernheimer Architecture, she has been co-curating and authoring a series of designs for fairy-tale houses, published with the international magazine Design Observer / Places; they were awarded an AIANY Merit Award in the “Unbuilt” category for the first installation, called “The House on Chicken Feet.” You can see the designs here, and watch for more to come in late 2013.
If you are especially interested in her aesthetic theories on fairy tales, please check out her recent essay in The Volta and her miniature tour of Orpheus retellings for The New Yorker’s book blog, “Page-Turner"
Kate teaches in the Department of English at the University of Arizona. If you are interested in having Kate lecture on fairy tales or offer a fiction reading or fairy-tale workshop to your students, please contact her via this website. She tends to book such engagements around a year in advance, with some exceptions of course.