Bookshelf

How to Cook a Moose

“Her enthusiasm for her adopted home and its ethos of sustainability is as abundant as the lovingly crafted descriptions of stunning landscapes and mouthwatering meals—the recipes for which Christensen includes in the book—she and her partner prepared together in their kitchen.”

-Kirkus

 

 

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Blue Plate Special

“Blue Plate Special is the memoir of an utterly original thinker, a free-spirited gourmand, and a great American writer. It’s an expert guide on inspiration, ingenuity, heartbreak, buoyancy, home, love, family, screwing up, bouncing back and perfecting the bacon-cheddar biscuit.”

-Gillian Flynn, author of Gone GirlDark Places, and Sharp Objects

 

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The Astral

“Christensen has the makings of a major American author. Her storytelling derives organically from a firm grasp of characterization and how people work, flaws and all. The Astral, artfully composed and emotionally tender, is evidence of true literary genius.”

The Miami Herald

 

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Trouble

“You may experience feelings of exhilaration while reading Trouble. This is normal and is caused by the fact that Christensen is the kind of writer who’s willing to say things most people don’t dare to. And she knows exactly how to say them.”

Time

 

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The Great Man

“Nimble, witty and discerning, Kate Christensen is single-handedly reinvigorating the comedy of manners with her smart and disemboweling novels of misanthropes, cultural and aesthetic divides, private angst, social ambition and appetites run amok.”

-Chicago Tribune

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The Epicure's Lament

“There is a definite scarcity of good monsters these days…This makes one appreciate Hugo Whittier, the narrator and quasi-hero of Kate Christensen’s remarkable novel The Epicure’s Lament, all the more…Christensen gives a virtuoso performance, tossing off perfect sentences seemingly at random, delivering them with a sneer that makes them more delicious.”

-Time Magazine

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Jeremy Thrane

“Christensen knows how to capture singlehood in the little things, like listening, with longing and satisfied remove, to your new roommate and his lover chatting. Details like this will keep you hooked.”

-Mademoiselle

 

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In The Drink

 

“Like its protagonist, Christensen’s book is funny and intelligent, filled with dead-on New York character types and locales.”

-The Baltimore Sun

 

 

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From the Blog:

The old town looks the same as I step down from the train

Damn, that was a gnarly winter. Winters here generally are, but this one was especially long and cold and snowy and stormy and full of work and anxiety and obligations and upheavals. Our old car died; we got a new one. Our tenants moved out; we lost their rent income but gained access to the upstairs apartment, which is in dire need of renovation, which come to think of it is another source of anxiety. We installed a baby gate at the foot of the stairs so Dingo’s poor old hips wouldn’t slip and slide down them every morning, but then we took it away when he made it clear he wasn’t ready for his baby-gate years and would descend at a more stately pace from now on as befits his elder dignity, thank you, and he’ll continue to sleep in his room, which he prefers to the living room downstairs. I traveled too, all winter long, most of it for business. Sometimes with Brendan, more often not, I went to Austin, Miami, Virginia, Los Angeles, New Mexico, Arizona, South Carolina, New York, Los Angeles again, Miami again. The astute reader will note that these are all points south; the astute reader might further surmise that these trips were welcome diversions from a climate standpoint, and he or she would be right, and every single one of those trips was flat-out wonderful for a lot of reasons, but they were also grueling, because they entailed getting on planes. My hatred of flying has shaded in recent months from virulent to grimly resigned; there’s no point in spending all those... read more

Let your mind go, let yourself be free

For about the past month, I’ve been in a state of waxing and waning dread: low-level, then sharp, then low-level, then sharp again. And for more than six years before that, ever since I left my marriage and started the process of separation and divorce, I’ve been in limbo, first guilty, sad, and nervous, and then, over the years, increasingly angry, resentful, and at times, murderous (show me one person mired in a divorce battle who hasn’t fantasized about a handy bus coming along and killing his or her would-be ex, and I will show you a saint, or at least a martyr, or maybe an exceptionally mature person, which I obviously am not). My dread this past month was caused by the fact that in the end, in order to get free of my long-defunct first marriage, I was forced to go down to Brooklyn divorce court and face my ex-husband, with our lawyers, before a judge. It was, as one friend suggested, like ripping off a bandage and reopening old wounds. I had nightmares about it. I realized anew why I’d left. I remembered things I’d worked hard to forget. On Thursday morning at 6:00, my plane took off from Portland. We landed at JFK at 7:30. For an hour and a half, I sat in a cab in snarled, ugly, potholed rush-hour traffic. It was a grey morning with hard, dirty air. What is the opposite of nostalgia? Is there such a word? The divorce ceremony was surreal and quick and painless. The presence of my lawyer, a smart, kind, charming Brit, was like a security... read more

Inside a broken clock, splashing the wine with all the rain dogs

Yesterday, all afternoon and into the night, a heavy, icy rain fell steadily onto the shallow snow, turning the meadows into science labs of temporal precipitation layers: hard old snow packed on the ground, then newer softer snow over that, then a crust of brand-new ice, and on top, slick wet sleet in progress. As the ice-water fell, it piled up on power lines. It was only a matter of time before they started collapsing under the weight. After our usual long walk, except the occasional slippery doggy foray into the yard, we all stayed safely inside during the sleet storm: Brendan and me, and Dingo, and Brendan’s aunt’s two dogs, Shasta and Bandito. They’re Dingo’s pals. They often stay with us and are like family, and whenever they’re here, we all automatically fall into certain class systems, like Downton Abbey. Brendan and I are definitely on the downstairs end of things. Bandito, a small black spider monkey (actually, he’s a Jagdterrier, a German hunting dog, but he hops like a monkey with his tail in the air and has fiercely intelligent, preternaturally aware black monkey eyes), steals Dingo’s bed, or rather, he lolls in it while staring at Dingo as if daring him to challenge his right to it. Dingo stands mournfully nearby in silent passive protest, looking up at us humans to make sure we see what’s going on. “Work it out,” we tell him. “Fight for your rights.” It must be said that Dingo has the best bed: a cozy brown donut, soft with foam, with a sheepskin for warmth. Sometimes, in empathetic soft-heartedness, when Dingo looks particularly doleful... read more

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