Marie-Helene Bertino is the author of the novel 2 A.M. AT THE CAT’S PAJAMAS and the story collection SAFE AS HOUSES. Her work has received The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellowship in Cork, Ireland, The O. Henry Prize, The Pushcart Prize and two Special Mentions, The Iowa Short Fiction Award, fellowships from The MacDowell and Hedgebrook Writers Colonies, The Center For Fiction NYC, Sewanee Writers Conference, and has been featured on NPR’s “Selected Shorts” radio program. The former Associate Editor for One Story, she is the current Editor-at-Large for Catapult. She teaches fiction at NYU and in the low-residency MFA program at Institute for American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, and lives in Brooklyn, where she is currently finishing a new novel and collection.
2 A.M. AT THE CAT’S PAJAMAS and selected stories from SAFE AS HOUSES have been translated and published in Ireland, England, Scotland, Turkey, France, Sweden, Russia, Japan, and forthcoming in Brazil.
Her work was a Barnes & Noble Fall ’14 Discover Great New Writers pick and an NPR and BuzzFeed Best Book of 2014 among many others, named Outstanding Collection by The Story Prize and included on the long list of the Frank O’Connor International Story Prize.
She has worked as a biographer for people living with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Her favorite Monkee is Mickey Dolenz. Her favorite Hepburn is Audrey.
In Philadelphia, she sang in a band named after a Jimmy Stewart movie. In New York, she was an original music writer for The Deli Magazine, and once attended/ reviewed 26 rock shows in 4 days.
When encountering phonies, she gets tired and turns into a feather.
She thinks you can tell a lot about people from print interviews and also by knowing them.
This is her story about Bob Dylan, recommended by Jim Shepard.
Once while playing volleyball she went chasing after the ball, fell down a hill, and crashed into a beehive. She was stung multiple times but finished the game. For her perseverance she was awarded Camper of The Year. This was at leadership camp, where they teach you to get ten people from one end of a field to another without touching the ground using only a chair and a 2×4.
She keeps thinking about what Rebecca said, There is nothing a woman can go through that can’t be beautiful.
On a grade school softball team, her nickname was “Peanut.”
She misses Adina.
She is not scared. She was born to do this.
She thinks you look great today.