About Kim Chernin
Kim Chernin, Ph.D. has won acclaim for her numerous works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including The Obsession, In My Mother’s House (Nominated for Chronicle Critics Award and Chosen as Alice Walker’s Favorite Book of the Year in 1983 New York Times), The Flame Bearers (1986 New York Times Notable Book) and National Best Seller The Hungry Self.
She has appeared on Phil Donahue, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose Show and The Today Show. She was included in two documentary films widely viewed on PBS: If Women Ruled the World: A Washington Dinner Party, July 1999, produced by Richard Karz, andRemembering the Goddess, Canadian Film Board. She has been featured on dozens of radio stations across the U.S., including NPR, KQED Forum and Larry King Radio. Her articles have appeared in New York Times Magazine, Focus Magazine and Tikkun, and her work has been featured in New York Times Book Review, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle,Washington Post, LA Times, Newsday and more.
A recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts in Fiction.
Her work is being collected by the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe.
Kim lives in Northern California with her partner, Renate Stendhal.
More About Kim
by: Jerilyn Fisher (from the Encyclopedia of Jewish Women)
On May 7, 1940, as Rose Chernin went through labor, she was reading a book between contractions: On the Woman Question, by Lenin’s comrade Clara Zetkin. Ushering Kim into the world with that book by her side, Rose may have hoped to inspire Communist vision and activism in the adult her baby would become; instead, she seems to have unknowingly augured her daughter’s commitment to and gift for writing about women.
Born in the Bronx to two fiercely committed Marxists, Kim Chernin was exposed from the start to leftist teachings and impassioned political involvement. As a child, she marched with her mother, helped hand out Party leaflets, sang organizing songs, and overheard weekly Party meetings. Yet the Marxist teachings of Chernin’s parents did not result in her later commitment to revolutionary ideologies and activism; rather, she became a poet, a mystic, and an interpreter of women’s psychological experiences. These interests and capacities seem to have stemmed from the extended family circle of compelling storytellers.
For young Kim Chernin, one early source of inspiration for writing came from her shtetl- born grandmother, Perle, who created Yiddish tales for other women to use in their letters abroad. Chernin was also influenced by her storytelling father, Paul Kusnitz, who liked to recite Pushkin and delighted his daughter with daily “homespun tales.” Rose Chernin, another gifted teller of tales, sometimes left Kim bored with her didactic stories “about madness, revolution, the struggle to survive…” (Crossing the Border). Yet from her mother, too, Kim learned to harness and relish the power of the raconteur. [more]