Stay tuned for publication news on my new memoir and novel!

White Rabbit

White Rabbit, Houghton Mifflin 1996, HarperCollins paperback 1997

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Description from the publisher:
Meet Ruth Caster Hubble. Feisty, cantankerous, and irreverent, she
is an old woman struggling to maintain order in a harebrained modern
world, and today is the last day of her life.

White Rabbit
follows Ruth's progress minute by minute on this fateful day as she copes with the breakdown of her household appliances, her own vital organs, and her faith in romantic love. While Ruth meanders her way through the day's routine, heartbreaking memories surface that open windows into her past. She thinks of Hale, her beloved first husband, who died in 1944; and hopeless Henry, her steadfast husband of 36 years, whom she calls, with a mixture of affection and contempt, a "boob." As the hours tick by, Ruth starts seeing things. A furry white bunny keeps hiphopping across her field of vision, announcing "Time," and Ruth has to wonder if hers is up.
Written with an understated elegance, warmth, and surprising
depth, White Rabbit heralds the arrival of a writer of formidable talent.

Two national book tours for White Rabbit, including bookstores and colleges in fifteen cities. In addition, guest of Susan Stamberg on National Public Radio and guest speaker at both the American Society on Aging and the Gerontological Society of America.

Helen Hunt Jackson: A Literary Life

Helen Hunt Jackson: A Literary Life, University of CA Press, 2003

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Desciption from the University of California Press website:

Novelist, travel writer, and essayist Helen Hunt Jackson (1830–1885)
was one of the most successful authors and most passionate intellects
of her day. Ralph Waldo Emerson also regarded her as one of
America’s greatest poets. Today Jackson is best remembered for
Ramona, a romantic novel set in the rural Southern Californian Indian
and Californio communities of her day. Ramona, continuously in print
for over a century, has become a cultural icon, but Jackson’s prolific
career left us with much more, notably her achievements as a prose
writer and her work as an early activist on behalf of Native Americans.
This long-overdue biography of Jackson’s remarkable life and times
reintroduces a distinguished figure in American letters and restores
Helen Hunt Jackson to her rightful place in history.

Discussing much new material, Kate Phillips makes extensive use of
Jackson's unpublished private correspondence. She takes us from
Jackson's early years in rural New England to her later pioneer days in
Colorado and to her adventerous travels in Europe and Southern
California. The book also gives the first in-depth discussions of
Jackson's writing in every genre, her beliefs about race and religion,
and the significance of her chronic illnesses. Phillips also discusses
Jackson's intimate relationships—with her two husbands, her mentor
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the famed actress Charlotte Cushman,
and the poet Emily Dickinson. Phillips concludes with a re-evaluation of
Ramona, discussing the novel as the earliest example of the California
dystopian tradition in its portrayal of a state on the road to selfdestruction,
a tradition carried further by writers like Nathanael West
and Joan Didion.

In this gripping biography, Phillips offers fascinating glimpses of how
social context both shaped and inspired Jackson's thinking, highlighting
the inextricable presence of gender, race, and class in American literary
history and culture and opening a new window onto the nineteenth

Lectures on Helen Hunt Jackson at approximately twenty venues around the
country, including the California Historical Society, the Southern California
Historical Society, Amherst College, MiraCosta College, Voice of America, and
National Public Radio.