This section includes what has been written about Bertino’s work. For short stories and essays written by Bertino please visit the “Other Work” section.

February 1st, 2018 Book Bub, “30 Books to Read Instead of Watching The Super Bowl.”

May 14th, 2017, Poets & Writers, “Ten Writers Reading Ten Short Stories for Short Story Month.”

February 27th, 2016,, “14 Beautifully Written Debut Novels By Women.”

January 1, 2016,, “15 Books You Need a Blanket To Read.”

December 24th, 2015,, “12 Books That Would Get Scrooge Himself Into The Holiday Spirit.”

November 24th, 2015,, “Philadelphia Holiday Gift Guide, Part Two.”

November 22nd, 2015, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, review

November 18th, 2015, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, “Brooklyn novelist paints musical portrait of Philly.”

August 12th, 2015, The Huffington Post, “12 Books That Will Lift You Up When You’re Down.” “Bertino’s writing is like a kind stranger or an Internet video of a dolphin rescuing a dog: a small wave from the universe to remind you of the unexpected, beautiful qualities of the everyday.”

April 11th, 2015, Bustle Magazine, “11 Short Story Collections for your Inner Magical Weirdo.”

April 7th, 2015, The Calandra Institute, taped reading and interview with Rosangela Briscese, for Italics tv show

April 3rd, 2015, Book Riot, “Inbox/Outbox” “[2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas] is the most charming thing I have ever read in my entire existence on this planet…Come for the beauty and heartbreak, stay for the funny one-liners…”

March 21st, 2015, Refinery29, “Best Books to Read on Spring Break.”

March 12th, 2015, Ploughshares, “The Best Short Story I Read in A Lit Mag This Week: ‘Edna In Rain’ by Marie-Helene Bertino.”

February 24th, 2015, Bustle, “If You Loved ‘How To Build A Girl,’ Try Reading These 9 Books, Too.”

December 22nd, 2014, BuzzFeed, “The 22 Most Exciting Literary Debuts in 2014.”

December 13th, 2014, Kansas City Star, 100 Best Books of 2014

December 11th, 2014, Writer’s Relief, “Interview with Author Marie-Helene Bertino”

December 5th, 2014, Huffington Post Books, “10 Great Books to Read Based on Your Favorite New Movies.”

December 4th, 2014, NPR Books, Best Books of 2014, “Inventive, gorgeously written and unforgettable.”

December 4th, 2014, Brooklyn Magazine, “If You Liked That, You’ll Love This.” “Isolation is also at the center of Bertino’s magical debut, which weaves together the stories of a tangle of Philadelphians—many of them lovelorn, all searching to be seen and heard by those around them.”

December 3rd, 2014, School Library Journal, Best Adult Books 4 Teens, 2014

December 3rd, 2014, Electric Literature, “Was 2014 the Year of The Debut?”

December 2nd, 2014, KUOW, “Nancy Pearl Suggests a Literary Escape from Holiday Mayhem.” “…I think at its heart [2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas] is about connections, the connections we make with other people, connections that we don’t even know exist…It’s a loving tribute to jazz, a loving-er tribute to Philadelphia, urban Philadelphia.”

November 28th, 2014, Popsugar, Best Books of 2014

November 19th, 2014, The L Magazine, The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. “[2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas is] funny and sad and full of a lyricism that is as rare as it is appreciated.”

November 19th, 2014, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review. “The story of a lonely 9-year-old girl’s quest to perform at a Philadelphia jazz club on Christmas Eve rolls along much like a piece of music — different story lines wind and unwind like musical themes, and these stories are all threaded together with a consistently energized brio like one of the tunes played at the club giving the book its title. Each sentence, as well, is composed with a poetic ear; no line is wasted. That’s rare.”

November 5th, 2014, The Brooklyn Rail, “In Conversation: 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas,” Interview with Marina Petrova

October 24th, 2014, The Austin Chronicle, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review. “Homage to her native Philly, the Brooklyn-based author exposes both the beauty and burden of urban living…A clever tale of missed opportunities and seized ones, Cat’s Pajamas’ characters mirror the story’s inspiration. Like jazz, they’re unruly, improvised, and endlessly impassioned.”

October 7th, 2014,, “I Doubt Donald Antrim Feels That Way,” Interview with Marie-Helene Bertino and Diane Cook

October 3rd, 2014, Ploughshares, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review. “One might think, given that the book’s very title telegraphs this peak, that the climactic meeting at The Cat’s Pajamas would feel predestined. The fact that it does not evinces Bertino’s ability to keep the reader guessing, entertained, and turning pages. She crafts her narrative as as expert jazz band might craft a series of solos: each player emerging and receding in turn, each sequence of notes unpredictable and inventive.”

September 2014, Oprah Magazine, “10 Titles to Pick up Now.”

September 2014, People Magazine, Style Watch, “Check it Out.”

September 25th, 2014, City Pulse, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review. “Ms. Bertino’s prose, which at times jumps and scats like the jazz music at the center of the story, is especially effective. Some dreams begin, others end, and life continues to be a magical puzzle for these endearing characters. Delightful and recommended.”

September 23rd, 2014, Campus Circle, “22 Must Read Books for Fall 2014.”

September 21st, 2014, The Roanoke Times, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review. “Following the interwoven tales of three individuals’ lives, “2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas” takes strong characters and throws them together in delightfully unexpected ways.”

September 18th, 2014, San Francisco Chronicle, “A Selection of First Sentences from New Books.”

September 8th, 2014, BookRiot, “The Most Popular Books of the Month: August, 2014.”

September 6th, 2014, Ivory Owl Reviews, 30 Authors in 30 Days, Marie-Helene Bertino on Ted Thompson’s Land of Steady Habits.

August 29th, 2014, Chatelaine, “7 Hot Books to Read in September.”

August 27th, 2014, The Masters Review, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review. “One of the most compelling aspects of 2 AM at The Cat’s Pajamas is Bertino’s ability to capture people, moments, and feelings with a use of language that is all her own…[She] is a true master of her craft, and readers will devour her writing…I can’t imagine a person sitting down with this book and not enjoying it.”

August 26th, 2014,, “3 Novels to Devour Over a Long Weekend.”

August 21st, 2014, Poets & Writers, “Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin.”

August 21st, 2014, The Riveter, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review. “Legendary flames, musical pyrotechnics, boiling tea kettles: Bertino’s chapters progress like chain-smoked cigarettes; the next is lit off the last…there is also the lyricism of Bertino’s sentences; sometimes, they’re almost prose poems…”

August 21st, 2014, BookRiot, “What Rioters are Reading on August 21st, 2014.”

August 20th, 2014: From Left to Write blog, “What’s On Your Nightstand?”

August 14th, 2014, Philadelphia CityPaper, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review. “The novel’s true genius, though, is [Bertino’s] wry insight into her delightful characters…crafted by a writer who shows that less is more, and that perfectly worded less is magic.”

August 13th, 2014, The Millions, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review, “A Little Night Music: On Marie-Helene Bertino’s 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas.  “[The] book shimmers with pratfalls and wit, feeling at once real-to-life and larger-than…Bertino draws rich and real human beings with enviably few strokes of the pen.”

August 12th, 2014, American Short Fiction, “Interview with Marie-Helene Bertino.”

August 11th, 2014, Bustle, “Marie-Helene Bertino talks late-night jazz, gritty Philadelphia, and ‘Cat’s Pajamas,’ 12 years in the making.”

August 11th, 2014, BookPage, “What They’re Reading: Marie-Helene Bertino.”

August 8th, 2014, Savannah Morning News, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review, “Jazz and Tragedy Fuel Feel-Good Novel.” “Lorca’s detached observations and Madeleine’s wryness fill the novel with brilliant verbal play, and make a book full of flawed and hurting characters an absolute joy to read.”

August 8th, 2014, Flavorwire, “50 Excellent Novels by Females Under 50 That Everyone Should Read.”

August 7th, 2014, Dead Darlings, “An Interview with Marie-Helene Bertino.”

August 7th, 2014, Foyles UK, Interview

August 6th, 2014, LargeHearted Boy, “WORD bookstores books of the week.”

August 5th, 2014, NPR, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, review, “It’s 2 A.M.: Do You Know Where Your 5th Grader Is?” “Lorca, Sarina, especially Madeleine — even Bertino’s version of Philadelphia — are all imbued with such wit, flaw and charm, they deserve whatever love they’re offered.”

August 5th, 2014, Barnes & Noble, Discover Great New Writers Picks for Fall 2014, with interview

August 4th, 2014, Bibliotica, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review. “[Bertino’s] novel defies categorization…It’s fantastic, and fresh, and if you don’t read it, you’ll be missing a treat.”

August 4th, 2014, TIME OUT NEW YORK, Critic’s Pick, Launch party of Cat’s Pajamas

August 2nd, 2014, NPR Weekend Edition, “3 Lives Collide ‘At The Cat’s Pajamas’,” Interview with Scott Simon

August 2nd, 2014, Brooklyn Eagle, “Brooklyn Novelist Paints Musical Portrait of Philly

August 1st, 2014, Book Page, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review. “With vivid description and great character development, Bertino brings Philadelphia and its inhabitants to life in an unforgettable tale.”

August 1st, 2014, Shelf Awareness, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Review. “Bertino’s instinct for pushing the boundaries of probability into the realm of the small miracle gives readers the sense that if something unforeseen but truly good could happen at a run-down jazz club on Christmas Eve [Eve], then it could happen at any moment.”

August 1st, 2014, Bustle, “August 2014 Best Books to Finish Off Your Summer”

August 1st, 2014, Flavorwire, “10 Must-Read Books for August”

July 27th, 2014, A.V. Club, “What’s Your Favorite Book So Far This Year?”

July 16th, 2014, NPR, “Book News,” The Two-Way, Breaking News from NPR

July 16th, 2014, Flavorwire, “50 Excellent Fabulist Books That Everyone Should Read”

July/August, 2014, Poets and Writers Magazine“How I Found My Writer”

July 1st, 2014, TIME OUT NEW YORK, “Dive into the #readwomen14 movement”

July 1st, 2014, Philadelphia Magazine“HOT COPY”

June 11th, 2014, Maximum Shelf, Shelf Awareness: 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas.

December 3rd, 2013, Picador Books blog, “Where Do You Write?”

November 25th, 2013, The Quivering Pen blog, “My First Time,” Marie-Helene Bertino writes about her first novel “The Dream Crystal,” about a fairy world named after a mall.

September 9th, 2013, Insatiable Book Sluts, Safe as Houses, Review. “If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would buy you all a copy of this book.”

August 9th, 2013, Interview with Marie-Helene Bertino for Brooklyn Community Radio, BBOX with Katie Shepherd

May 7th, 2013, The Common Magazine, “On Mix-tapes, Philly and a Papillon,” Interview

May 6th, 2013, New Pages, Safe as Houses, Review

April 3rd, 2013, The Common Online, “HYPHEN-NATION, a dispatch from the hyphen in my first name.”

March 27th, 2013, The Nik Perring Show, “Magic Marie-Helene Bertino.”

January 17th, 2013: The Paris Review Daily, “Tender Spirits, A Conversation with Marie-Helene Bertino.”

January 7th, 2013:  Library Journal includes Safe as Houses on their list of “2012 Short Story Collections I Couldn’t Forget.”

January 3rd, 2013: Huffington Post Books site, “Another Year End List,” by Sean Carman, “The stories in Safe as Houses are quirky and hilarious, but also tell honest emotional truths. It is exceedingly difficult to manage the emotional distance this kind of storytelling requires. Bertino handles her narratives with masterful care. Each one is a literary gem.”

December 31st, 2012: The L Magazine“Brooklyn Book People share their Favorite Books of 2012.”

December 24th, 2012: LargeHearted Boy names Safe as Houses one of the Best Books of 2012.

December 21st, 2012: The Rumpus, “I Like My Oatmeal Lumpy, Or How I Came to Rap The Humpty Dance in Front of New York’s Literary Elite.”

December 20th, 2012: The L Magazine“5 Breakout Brooklyn Book People of 2012.”

December 19th, 2012: Johannes Lichtman names Safe as Houses one of his Best Books of the Year, 10 Favorite New Books of 2012.

December 18th, 2012: Fiction Addiction, Audio Recording of “Carry Me Home, Sisters of Saint Joseph,”  from December 18th reading.

November 26th, 2012: Electric Literature, “Music for Novel Writing, Electric Literature’s Mix Tape for National Novel Writing Month”

November 26th, 2012: Full Stop, Safe as Houses, Review. “Allusions, in good hands, send us forward, not back into something we already know. In the case of Bertino’s debut collection, they send us into the sometimes surreal but always convincing world of skillfully drawn plots, complex metaphors, and quirky-serious wordplay.”

November 17th, 2012: Switchback, “A Bell Ringing in a Place Thought Dead”: Safe as Houses, Review, “Bertino’s stories are surprising and funny and extremely well-crafted. This is a collection not to be missed.”

November 13th, 2012: Largehearted Boy, Book Notes Playlist for Safe as Houses

November 5th, 2012: Fiction Addition Reading Series, Interview with Amanda Faraone,

October 24th, 2012: The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA), “Award-winning short fiction embraces quirky,” Safe as Houses, Review

October 22nd, 2012: Three Guys, One Book, “Free Ham,” review of story

October 17th, 2012: above/ground Press, Interview with Rob McLennan

October 16th, 2012: The L Magazine“An Amazing Night of Literary All-Stars at Franklin Park.”

October 12th, 2012: The Nervous Breakdown, Self-Interview, in which I ask myself the hard questions.

October 11th, 2012: The Nervous Breakdown, “Sometimes You Break Their Hearts, Sometimes They Break Yours,” excerpt

October 9th, 2012:, “Space Aliens, Nuns, and Bob Dylan, populate Marie-Helene Bertino’s Safe as Houses,” Review. “Books like Safe as Houses remind me of the feeling I first had reading Lewis Carroll, a feeling that keeps me coming back to genre fiction in all its forms: that some people see the world very differently, and that it’s immense fun to borrow their perspective and see it along with them.”

October 9th, 2012: Storyville App features “Free Ham” as its Story of the Week

October 8th, 2012: The Rumpus, Safe as Houses, Review.  “…In each of her stories, Bertino seems to tweak some grand cosmological constant and set the universe askew, as if for a handful of pages she’d changed the laws of gravity.”

October 3rd, 2012: Book Riot, “The Best Books We Read in September,” “I’m a sucker for a good short story, and Bertino’s debut collection is absolutely full of them. There are words for the individual pieces of her style: whimsy, surrealism, wry humor, a knack for hitting a nerve.”

October 2nd, 2012: Interview Magazine, Marie-Helene Bertino on the Strength of Kindness, interview with Royal Young. “Mixing elements of magic with moments of cleansing truth, these are stories about the safety that comes with accepting we are never safe. Sad, funny, and triumphant.”

October 1st, 2012: New York Journal of Books, Safe as Houses, Review. “Safe as Houses, a collection of short stories making reading a truly healing and memorable experience.”

September 24th, 2012: Fiction Writer’s Review, Interview with Jesse Hassenger

June 11th, 2012: Luna Park Review, “Holy Shit: Marie-Helene Bertino & Jim Shepard & Bob Dylan!”

June 3rd, 2012: Canteen Magazine“The State of Creation,” interview with Marie-Helene Bertino and Elliott Holt.

February 3rd, 2012: University of Iowa Press announce the winners of The Iowa Short Fiction prize

October 10th, 2011: One Story blog, Saying goodbye to One Story

May 5th, 2011: American Short Fiction blog, podcast of interview and reading