Karen Shepard’s latest essay on Buzzfeed

My odd intimacy with my stepson’s mother, my husband’s ex-wife, the woman I raised a child with.









Happy Pub Day, Jim Shepard!

Jim Shepard speaks the truth:

My 15 Y/O Daughter Has Never Been More Impressed…



Reviews for Kiss Me Someone

Full New York Times Review

“In this captivating collection of stories, Karen Shepard turns her ever-insightful eye on women, and in her gaze is both love and a startling clarity. Readers of all kinds will find much to relish in this voice–from its storytelling surprises to the sharp observations it extends, over and over, to us on the other side of the page.”
Aimee Bender

“There is such a wondrous variety in these highly accomplished stories. They are rich with invention, with acute (sometimes alarming) awareness, dazzling insight, and pure, word virtuosity.”
Richard Ford

“Women bear the dark consequences of infidelity, lies, and other betrayals.”
Kirkus (Read more here)

“This concise, disturbing collection by Shepard (The Celestials) covers several decades of the author’s work, often focusing on troubling experiences of women in the northeastern United States.”
Publisher’s Weekly (Read more here)

“At first glance, the women of Karen Shepard’s Kiss Me Someone seem linked by a sisterhood of the execrable.”
The Arkansas International (Read more here)

BuzzFeed’s list of “28 Exciting Books You Need to Read This Fall,” (Read more here)

Book Riot‘s Make it Quick:14 Upcoming Short Story Collections to Watch For (Read more here)

“These stories, and the characters that inhabit them, are so vivid, they will surely stay with readers for a good long while,”
-Booklist (Read more here)

“Shepard’s unapologetically flawed characters make this collection an honest portrayal of womanhood,”
-Ms. Magazine (Read more here)

“Shepard’s writing is breathtaking in its ability to capture minor but revelatory personal insights. With her crisp prose and sharp observations, she views characters with devastating and unflinching clarity.”
– Shelf Awareness for Readers (Read more here)

“When I closed this brash and unapologetic collection, I re-opened it to start again from the beginning.”
– Read It Forward

Kiss Me Someone cries the inimitable Karen Shepard.”
-Vanity Fair (Read more here)

“She is unflinching in her depictions of self-destructive choices and betrayal as well as friendship and love.”
-O Magazine (Read more here)

The Shepards 2017

Countdown to pub day for both of these books.  Coming September 12: Jim’s first book of essays and my first book of stories, both ushered into the world by the extraordinary Tin House Books.  The tour so far is up on my website (http://karen-shepard.com/calendar/).  Additions as they come.  We hope to see you anywhere and everywhere.



Jim and Karen Shepard at Newtonville Books

Two for the price of one.  Jim and I will both be at the incomparable Newtonville Books celebrating the publication of our new books from Tin House Books.  Jim’s essays on American movies and politics, TUNNEL AT THE END OF THE LIGHT, is required reading for those of us interested in the stories our country tells itself to explain the position we find ourselves in.  My new story collection, KISS ME SOMEONE, could also be titled: SAD, ANGRY PEOPLE HAVING CREEPY SEX.  Both books come out September 12.  The Newtonville Books event is our first tour stop.  We’d love to see you there: Newtonville Books, Friday September 15 at 7:00 pm.


Now What Do We Do?

Now What Do We Do?” (Good Housekeeping-February 2015)

The phone rang. It was my daughter. “Mom,” she said, her voice wavering, “can you come get me?”

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Cole and I are finished,” she said. She started crying.

My heart broke for her. They’d been dating for over a year. He was her best friend. They recited Monty Python sketches to each other. When they made each other laugh, it was like dolphins having a party. They were 11. They met each other when they were younger in a kids party at Jumpers Jungle Family Fun Center.

“Oh, sweetie,” I said. I told her I was on my way.

Read More…

Dragon Ladies

Dragon ladies” (TheMillions.com-June 12, 2013)

My grandmother died last November at ninety-six. I hadn’t seen her in thirteen years. The funeral was in Switzerland, where she’d lived for decades, and I went only because my mother asked me to. Twice.

My mother was nervous. She doesn’t like public-speaking in general, and I imagine the emotional stakes of this situation were high. She had had a complicated relationship with her mother. Standing in the chilly chapel, she turned to me and whispered, “I don’t think I’m going to make it.”

“You’ll be fine,” I said. “Just remember what an asshole she was.”

Read More…

Jim Shepard and Julie Himes, Together!

Odyssey Books, Thursday June 8.  Don’t miss it!


New Sentence by Jim Shepard in the NY Times

One of my favorite Jim Shepard sentences.  So glad Sam Anderson in the Times agrees:


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