Kathy Anderson is the author of the novel, The New Town Librarian (NineStar Press, 2023) and the short story collection, Bull and Other Stories (Autumn House Press, 2016), which won the Autumn House Press Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards and Publishing Triangle's Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, as well as longlisted for The Story Prize. The New Town Librarian is her first novel.
A former public librarian, she worked for over 25 years in small town public libraries in southern New Jersey, the setting for The New Town Librarian. She lives with her wife in Philadelphia, PA.
The New Town Librarian
Queer middle-aged librarian Nan Nethercott, a wisecracking hypochondriac with a lackluster career and a nonexistent love life, needs to make a drastic life change before it’s too late. When she lands a job as librarian in a seemingly idyllic small town in southern New Jersey, Nan quickly discovers unforeseen challenges.
Nan’s landlady, Immaculata, launches daily intrusions from below. The library, housed in the former town jail, is overrun by marauding middle-schoolers. A mysterious reader leaves distressing messages in book stacks all over the library. Thomasina, the irresistible butch deli owner, is clearly a delicious affair and not the relationship Nan craves.
There’s no turning back though. Nan must come up with her own wildly unorthodox solutions to what the town and its people throw at her and fight for what she wants until she makes a shiny new life—one with her first true home, surprising friends, a meaningful career, and a promising new love.
Bull and Other Stories (Autumn House Press)2016
Awards and Recognition
- Winner, Autumn House Press Fiction Prize
- Finalist, Publishing Triangle Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction
- Finalist, Lambda Literary Awards
- Finalist, Foreword INDIES Award
- Longlisted for The Story Prize
Press and Media Mentions
- Anderson’s greatest achievement is successfully avoiding the redundancy of plot or character that plagues some debut story collections. Her characters range in age from child to elderly, country kids to international travelers. Anderson writes Salty, a “minimum-wage poor” working man, with the same clarity and compassion she has for two sisters taking a final journey together, an abandoned wife, and a highly-educated librarian. These stories bring robust insight and humor to lives that might otherwise go unnoticed.
- These are infectiously readable short stories, and Anderson’s skill at fitting them together so seamlessly is matched by her evident joy in getting straight down to business. . . There's a remarkable no-nonsense intelligence and grace to these funny, ugly stories; they brim with the assurance of an important new literary voice.
- . . . the moments that feel truly new in Bull and Other Stories come when Anderson ascends an implausibility and tips it over into the fabulistic. She has lots of fun burlesquing the well-to-do: a histrionic lesbian power couple tormenting their realtor and each other, a pair of unhappy yuppie parents dining out with their bearded baby girl.
- These short stories pack an emotional punch and leave the reader feeling both pleasure and an immense feeling of loss. The collection asks the reader to move on, but the emotional weight stays with you long after you finish these stories.mid