Kate Bernheimer

About Kate Bernheimer

Kate Bernheimer’s most recent book is Office at Night, a novella co-authored with Laird Hunt (Finalist, Shirley Jackson Awards). It was published by Coffee House Press and co-commissioned by The Walker Art Center. She also is the author of two story collections, How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales (illustrated by Catherine Eyde) and Horse, Flower, Bird (illustrated by Rikki Ducornet) both published by Coffee House Press. Her novels — The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold, The Complete Tales of Merry Gold, and The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold (sometimes referred to as “the Gold family trilogy) were published between 2001 and 2008 by Fiction Collective 2. Maria Tatar (Chair, Program in Folklore & Mythology, Harvard University) writes, “A master of minimalist style, Kate Bernheimer taps into the poetry of fairy tales to reveal the dread that seeps into ordinary things as well as the redemptive power of language and story.”

Bernheimer has also edited four anthologies, including the bestselling and World Fantasy Award winning My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales and the World Fantasy Award nominated xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths, both published by Penguin Random House. My Mother She Killed Me has been translated into Russian and Chinese. Kate Bernheimer also writes fairy-tale criticism, with work appearing  such places as The Los Angeles Times, Marvels & Tales: The Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, and NPR's "All Things Considered."  Writing for the New York Times, bestselling author Benjamin Percy said of her work, "Anyone attracted to fairy tales and fables should check out the stories and criticism of Kate Bernheimer."

Her fabulist children's books (The Girl in the Castle inside the Museum with illustrations by Nicoletta Ceccoli, The Lonely Book with illustrations by Chris Sheban, and The Girl Who Wouldn't Brush Her Hair with illustrations by Jake Parker) are all published by Penguin Random House/Schwartz & Wade Books and have been nominated for many awards. They have been translated into Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Catalan, French, Italian, Romanian, and Hebrew.  Bernheimer lectures internationally about fairy tales as an art form; representative venues include The Museum of Modern Art in NY, NY, The Blanton Museum in Austin, TX, Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn, NY, and Brown University in Providence, RI. In 2005 she founded, and currently continues to edit, the annual journal Fairy Tale Review (Wayne State University Press), the country's only literary journal dedicated to fairy-tale writing in English and in translation to English.

Bernheimer’s work as an author, critic, and professor explores the intersections of contemporary fairy tales with multiple disciplines. To this end she frequently collaborates with her brother, Andrew Bernheimer (Principal of Bernheimer Architecture and Director of Architecture/Parsons The New School of Design), on new fiction, architectural competitions, and for an ongoing “Fairy-Tale Architecture” series for Places, an international, interdisciplinary magazine dedicated to scholarship on architecture, landscape, and urbanism.  In this series, diverse architects, designers, and structural engineers from around the world have selected favorite tales and produced works exploring the intimate relationship between the domestic structures of fairy tales and the imaginative realm of architecture.

Bernheimer teaches creative writing (fiction) workshops and classes about contemporary fairy tales as an art form.

Kate Bernheimer's picture

Contact Information

Kate Bernheimer
Associate Professor, English
Telephone: (520) 621-1836
Office: ML 445
Office Hours: Tuesday, 1 - 3
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences