Kai Maristed

About the author ...

Kai Maristed studied economics and political science at the University of Munich and MIT. She has worked in journalism and drama in Germany, as a business consultant, as CFO of a rural hospital in Haiti, and on the faculties of Harvard, Emerson College and the Warren Wilson MFA Program. Publications include the novels Broken Ground (2005) , Fall (1996) and Out After Dark (1993), and the story collection, Belong to Me (1997). Short stories and essays have appeared in, among others, The Southwest Review, Agni, The American Scholar, Ascent, The Kenyon Review, StoryQuarterly, Zoetrope, The American Voice, The Boston Globe, and the Anchor Essays Annual. She reviews frequently for The Los Angeles Times and Boston's ArtsFuse.
Kai lives in Paris and Wellfleet.

Watch for Maristed's new work in the journals Epiphany, Consequence, Agni and Southwest Review.

"I have read [Broken Ground] with the greatest admiration. It seems to me extraordinary... a significant contribution to the literature of contemporary Germany."

John Coetzee

Broken Ground

Hardcover: 320 pages ; Shoemaker & Hoard; (October 2003); ISBN: 1593760051


Kaethe Schalk was born out of a love affair between an American soldier turned communist sympathizer and a German refugee. Raised by her grandparents, she eventually reunited with her father, a rising bureaucrat in East Germany, and she, too, joined the cause. Upon her later defection to West Berlin, she married into an old but impoverished aristocratic family. As she observed the turmoil of postwar German partition, the protests of the 1960s, the building of the Berlin wall and its eventual destruction, and German unification, she also attempted to raise a family. Now, living an isolated life on the New England farm of her girlhood, she returns to Berlin to seek her daughter, who has gone missing. While she roams, astonished, through the dark underbelly of a newly whole and prosperous Berlin, she is also haunted by her own history. The prose is stupendous as Maristed's entangled layers of plot allow a look at modern Berlin through the eyes of its turbulent past.

Michael Spinella
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved


Kaethe Schalk has married into a family of disappearing German aristocracy. Having spent years in East Berlin, devoted, after her fashion, to an American father himself devoted to the grand socialist ideal, she faces a new life of boundless complexity.
An uncanny representation of the horse show world. From the amusing, stranger than fiction, glimpses of life on the circuit, to the dark side of brutal competition this book shows you the whole scene.
Part fairy tale, part murder mystery, this intriguing, deeply felt first novel about two orphans and their abusive guardian is surprisingly hard to put down.
Her novels, Out After Dark and Fall, have already established Kai Maristed as an original voice, one of "clarity and terseness, a muscular language" (Los Angeles Times Book Review on Fall). Now, with this splendid collection of nine stories, she displays her mastery of the shorter form.