Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination


Written nearly a decade after the popular Lithium for Medea, Palm Latitudes, Kate Braverman's second novel and arguably her chef d'oeuvre, explores the intertwined lives of three women who await absolution and revelation in the bougainvillea- and violence-filled "barrio" of Los Angeles. Frances Ramos is a voluptuous prostitute who flaunts her wealth and is held in high esteem by the local street gangs. Gloria Hernandez is a dutiful young wife and mother—until her husband's act of betrayal sparks her growing estrangement and fury. Marta Ortega, a prophetic old woman connected viscerally with the forces/elements of nature, nods as past and present mingle and quietly charts the cross-pollination of her turbulent neighborhood, and of human destiny.


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“Ms. Braverman possesses a magical, incantatory voice and the ability to loft ordinary lives into the heightened world of myth.”

“Stunning … Sentence after sentence unfolds like an endless succession of startling, exotic blossoms. It will be praised as establishing a new mythology, most likely a feminist mythology.”

“We've had few fiction writers in our tradition who hold an entire book together out of such moon-spun inebriation with English … Palm Latitudes is not so much a novel as it is the text of a cantata for three female voices, one of the strangest, bravest, and, depending on your taste, possibly one of the most appealing inventions in recent years.”

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.”


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.