Lithium for Medea is a tale of addiction: to drugs, to physical love, to dysfunctional family chains. It is also a tale of mothers and daughters, their mutual rebellion and unconscious mimicry. Rose grew up with an emotionally crippled, narcissistic mother while her father, a veteran gambler, spent his waking hours in the garden cut off from his wife’s harangues. Now an adult, Rose works her way through a string of unhealthy love(less) affairs. After a brief, unhappy marriage, she slips more deeply and dangerously into the lair of a parasitic, cocaine-fed artist whose sensual and manipulative ways she grows unable to resist. Kate Braverman’s story is a drug that leaves one’s perceptions forever altered. Lithium for Medea sears us with Rose’s breathless, fierce, visceral flight.
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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.
“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.”