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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for The Incantation of Frida K.
Book cover for The Incantation of Frida K.

The Incantation of Frida K., an imagined life journey of Frida Kahlo, leads us through a kaleidoscope of memories and hallucinations where we shiver on the threshold of life and death, dream and reality, truth and myth. Frida K. navigated into unexplored dimensions of her world, leading us through the alleys of San Francisco's Chinatown, of Paris in 1939 (where she rubbed shoulders with Andre Breton), and Coyoacan, a neighborhood in Mexico City. Her voyage is an inward one, an incantation before dying.

In The Incantation of Frida K., Kate Braverman’s language dances and spins. She carves out a bold interpretation of the life of an artist to whom she is vitally connected.

Book cover for The Incantation of Frida K.
Book cover for The Incantation of Frida K.

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“[Braverman's] talent, uncorked, is as bold and brave and beautiful as anything we see from writers of her generation. Her latest work of fiction, a pulsating prose meditation on the life and death of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, makes that abundantly clear.”

“Imaginative and assured … [Braverman] has produced a masterful work in The Incantation of Frida K.

“Braverman's literary genius shines here as she takes on the voice of Frida Kahlo, which emerges with the luminous and haunting tone one would imagine the late Mexican artist would have.”

“A story that belongs to Frida as much as to the American writer.”

“Dazzling and illuminating … Braverman has a talent for lyrical and hallucinatory language that neatly matches her subject, the interior musings of Frida Kahlo … To read this book is not only to understand what made the artist tick, it is also to feel the excruciating ticking of a life fueled by pain.”

“Braverman deliberately mixes genres, creating a new kind of syntax influenced by poetry, music, performance art, memoir, and biography.”

blog — October 16

Kate Braverman  (1949 – 2019)

We regret to announce the death of beloved American author Kate Braverman, who passed away on October 13, 2019 at her home in Santa Fe, NM. She was 70 years old. She was the author of 11 books, including three titles we were honored to publish, Lithium for Medea, Palm Latitudes, and The Incantation of Frida K. This is a tremendous loss for the literary community and readers worldwide. She will be dearly missed.

From The Los Angeles Times

“She was vivid and intense. She was uncompromising,” said [Janet] Fitch, who called Braverman “a high priestess of literature.”

. . . 

“She felt mediocrity was evil and should be stamped out ... it was as if she was defending the fortress from bad writing.”

Braverman believed a writer’s role is to uncover truths most people liked to ignore. “If you are a revolutionary, as I am, that’s what you want to do,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2006.

“I’ve written books as acts of discovery: things I need to know and that I need to touch. And it’s very dangerous work to deal with the most toxic internal elements. ... I feel like Madame Curie at my computer. I feel like I should be hemorrhaging from my eyes and ears.”

Braverman’s characters were often afflicted by isolation and displacement, experiences she knew intimately. “I give a voice to characters outside the so-called American mainstream: Bohemian artists on the canals of Venice, women in the barrio and the new denizen of Los Angeles, the single mom,” she told The Times in 1989. “The character of a poet and a single mother is black humor in itself.

“Everything I write is about Los Angeles ... the dark side of the tropics, the manic nature of the city, its mutant beauty, its power, the wildness of these self-created people.”

Kate Braverman

A native of Los Angeles who grew up surrounded by the counterculture of San Francisco, KATE BRAVERMAN (1947 - 2019) received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and her MA in English from Sonoma State University. An astute observer of California’s marginal spaces and a bold experimenter in form, Braverman was the author of four books of poetry, a collection of short stories, and four novels, including Lithium for Medea, Palm Latitudes, and The Incantation of Frida K. She won the Best American Short Story Award on multiple occasions and received the O. Henry Award for her story Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta in 1992. Braverman passed away on October 13, 2019 at her home in Santa Fe, NM.