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Catherine Brady grew up in a working class immigrant family in Chicago and went on to receive an MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Hollins College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts. Since moving to San Francisco, Catherine has embraced the sense of frontier and living for the moment which is palpable in the Bay Area and she now combines writing with teaching on the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.
Catherine is best known for her short story writing and published her first collection, The End of the Class War (Calyx Books, 1999), in 1999. The collection was also a finalist for the Western States Book Award in Fiction that year. Three years later she published her second short story collection, Curled in the Bed of Love (University of Georgia Press, 2002), which was the co-winner of the 2002 Flannery O´ Connor Award and a finalist for the 2003 Binghamton John Gardner Fiction Book Award.
Most of the stories in Curled in the Bed of Love are written from a woman´s perspective and telling stories from a woman´s perspective is important to Catherine, who believes that women should take back ownership of the portrayal of women´s experience, rather than allowing male writers to continue to monopolise it. Catherine is fascinated by the paradox of human nature and the way in which spiritual and physical aspects seem to get tangled up in imperfect human nature. This paradox is a recurring motif in Curled in the Bed of Love, as we are presented with a woman who is happy but feels the need to abuse alcohol—and thus her body—and a woman who is traumatised as a result of physical imperfections as she struggles to become a mother.
In this podcast, Catherine talks about some of the issues that Curled in the Bed deals with and reads some excerpts from the collection.
To find out more about Catherine Brady, including her most recent publications, visit her website.
Claire Hart has two great loves: art and communication. She enjoys communicating about art. Breaking down and exploring barriers to communication is how she earns her living. She lives her life partly in German and partly in English, but always in colour.