Kate Tuttle

Writer & Critic

Kate Tuttle

Writing on books and authors, race and politics, family and childhood.


Why Do Women Love True Crime?

The first murder I remember was a ghost story, told at my summer camp in Michigan. I was around 12, so this was in the time of disco. At night, in a dark cabin, a girl told the rest of us about her older sister’s friend. Or maybe her friend’s older cousin: one of those twice-removed protagonists of a supposedly true account.
The New York Times Link to Story

Debut Book Tells Of The Real-Life Longings And Frustrations Of 'Three Women'

Female desire has been seen as a problem since long before Freud, vexed, wondered what on Earth women want. Entire vocabularies of insult are devoted to girls and women who dare to proclaim their existence as sexual beings. The protagonists in Lisa Taddeo's new book, Three Women, are not unusual in their complicated sexual histories; what makes their stories revolutionary is the exquisite candor with which Taddeo gives them voice.

‘Pop Culture Happy Hour’ host Linda Holmes steps up to the plate with debut novel

In Linda Holmes’s debut novel, a young widow meets a washed-up baseball player, a pitcher forced to leave the game because he has the yips — that mysterious condition that renders players unable to perform their primary task. Back when she started working on the book in 2012, Holmes knew she wanted to write about an athlete.

'My Parents' and 'This Does Not Belong to You' review: Gorgeous dual memoir from Aleksandar Hemon

MY PARENTS: An Introduction / THIS DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU, by Aleksandar Hemon. MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 384 pp., $28. Many years before he was born, Aleksander Hemon’s maternal great-grandfather in Bosnia encountered a pair of giants while traveling home on a horse-drawn sleigh. and maybe a little drunk — so he stood up in the sleigh and bade the horses go ahead and just slipped past them.
Newsday Link to Story

A Filipino-American’s story deals with racism, sexual abuse

Grace Talusan’s memoir, “The Body Papers,” started with essays — “short pieces, and images of memory,” she said — but grew to include letters, other documents, and photographs, many taken by Talusan’s photographer husband. The images add a variety of different perspectives to the author’s story of growing up in the Boston suburbs as a Filipino-American immigrant.
The Boston Globe Link to Story

Review: ‘No Visible Bruises’ is both reportage and manifesto about domestic violence

Michelle and Rocky got together young, and quickly. By the time Michelle was just 17, the couple had two young children, but she still graduated from high school on time. Her family saw her as strong, smart, and proud. But they saw her less and less, as Rocky increasingly controlled her with violence and threats of violence.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story

Artist Chris Rush recounts life in the drug trade in ‘The Light Years’

Chris Rush was a Catholic kid, the middle child of seven in a brood headed by distracted, sometimes damaging parents. Their mother “regarded her children as her audience,” Rush writes, “and once we’d applauded, we could do as we wished.”. Like his mother, Rush had a flair for the dramatic — setting up a life-size statue of the Virgin Mary in his basement bedroom, swanning around in a pink cape he found at a thrift store — that set him apart from the other boys.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story

An American mom, a Third World nanny, and lessons in power, gender, and childcare

What happens when married American journalists living in Beijing add a child to their family? Unlike in their home country, they find household help — nannies, cleaners, and the like — very affordable. So Megan K. Stack and her husband, Tom, hire Xiao Li to help with the baby, the dishes, the cooking.
The Boston Globe Link to Story

Therapist Lori Gottlieb talks about the therapists that therapists go to

As a clinical psychologist, Lori Gottlieb was helping her patients fix their lives but couldn’t seem to handle her own. She was reeling from a catastrophic breakup, struggling with shame and confusion as she reckoned with midlife, and trapped in a contract to produce a book she didn’t want to write.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story

Let's Bring Back “The Day After”

When ABC broadcast The Day After, in the fall of 1983, it was, as they used to say in the days before widespread cable and the internet, a major television event. It had particular resonance for me, not just as a Gen-X’er who lived amid the fear, but it was actually set in and around my hometown, Lawrence, Kansas, and much of it was filmed there.
DAME Magazine Link to Story

On the braided history of schools and courts

For Justin Driver, his book’s topic is personal. “I grew up in Southeast DC, in the less privileged segment of Washington,” said Driver, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. His parents, who stressed educational achievement, enrolled him in a better public school far from their own struggling neighborhood.
The Boston Globe Link to Story

Sarah McColl’s ‘Joy Enough’ shares a daughter’s love for her mother — and the pain of her death

The death of a parent is one of adulthood’s most common rites of passage, the fellowship of grief a club most of us join sooner or later. And, of course, there’s nothing new in writing about losing a parent. When Sarah McColl began a graduate creative writing program, she took to calling her workshop “the dead mother parade,” and her brother teased her by asking whether she was really in graduate school or just a “two-year grief program.”.
Los Angeles Times Link to Story


Kate Tuttle

I'm currently serving as President of the National Book Critics Circle. My reviews and articles about books have appeared in the Boston Globe, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Salon,, and elsewhere. Native Kansan, longtime Cantabrigian, lately of Georgia, now in New Jersey. Mother, wife, pal.

Feel free to email me at