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After Loving Modigliani,

Linda Lappin

is back on Tour

October 14-November 14


Katherine's Wish


Katherine’s Wish

(Historical fiction/fictional biography)

Officially released in 2008,
now re released in 2021
250 pages
Wordcraft of Oregon



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Also available from the publisher / on Amazon



In this dramatic, fictional retelling of New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield‘s final years, and of the events which led up to her meeting with P.D. Ouspensky and G. I Gurdjieff, novelist Linda Lappin transports the reader like a time traveler into Mansfield’s intimate world.
Scrupulously researched and richly evocative, the novel has been praised by Mansfield scholars as “creative scholarship.”
With vivid detail and beautiful language and style, Lappin has built on journals, letters, and diaries to fashion a true-to-life mosaic, using themes, motifs, and methods of Mansfield’s own writing.
Katherine’s Wish celebrates Mansfield’s deep love of life and its final message is a life-affirming one of joy and of wholeness achieved.

Finalist, ForeWord Book of the Year Award in fiction,
IPPY Gold medal in historical fiction,
honorable mention Hoffer Awards, honorable mention Paris Book Festival,
finalist Next Generation Indie Awards.

A radio play adaptation of Katherine’s Wish is forthcoming.

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PARIS, October 1922
Paris was soon behind them. Katherine sat very still and withdrawn, her eyes fixed on the window as the train rattled past the shabby little houses of the banlieu with their gray cabbage plots brightened here and there by yellow bursts of chrysanthemums, then on across charred fields where peasants were burning off the wheat stubble. In the
distance up ahead lay the forest of Fontainebleau, a dark streak on the horizon.
On the seat beside her lay a pair of dove gray gloves and a wilted bouquet of cyclamen Ida had insisted on buying for her from a beggar girl at the Gare du Lyon. At her feet, her leather valise containing only the essentials for an overnight trip. Her hat box and steamer trunk had been left behind at the Select Hotel for she had been invited to spend only one night in Fontainebleau at G. I.Gurdjieff’s Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. If Mr. Gurdjieff accepted her as a pupil and allowed her to stay, she would send Ida back to Paris early in the morning to fetch her trunk and other belongings. The question was: would he say yes, and would he let her stay for as long as three months? That ought to be enough, she thought, though enough for what exactly, she was not sure.
Ida sat across from her, looking distraught, puzzling over a handful of coins, counting and recounting francs and sous. This journey, like so many others, would have been impossible without her assistance, and Katherine knew she should be grateful, yet Ida’s every awkward gesture, every little blunder jarred her nerves. She watched Ida fumbling in her pockets, pulling out more change. The train jolted. A five franc piece tumbled from her hand, rolled across the floor, and slipped, before their eyes, into a niche beneath a seat where it was now quite irretrievable.
“O Katie! Look what I’ve done! That was just what we needed for our cab fare.”
Katherine shrugged and said nothing. Her dependence on Ida was one of those chains from which, she hoped, she would soon be freed.
A ray of sun flashed on the gleaming brass name plate of her valise. Katherine stared at the engraved letters KMM, for Katherine Mansfield Murry. That was not the name printed on the passport she carried in the vest pocket of her overcoat, which was her real name, Kathleen Beauchamp Murry. But those were only two of a multitude: Kathleen, Katherine, Kath. Katie. Katya, Yekaterina, Kass, Kissienka, K.M., Tig She had a host of names ready for any occasion and each one conjured up a different woman. Lately she had begun to wonder, which, if any, of these characters was the real I? Your name is legion, Ouspensky had said. Who was she really? Only a nameless pair of eyes, she often thought, absorbing the world into a pitiless gaze. To this thought she had returned often over the last few weeks: I have been a camera, a mere mechanical observer. At times it seemed to her she could even detach herself from her own body, as it jerked and coughed like a mechanical doll, while another eye looked down upon her from above, gilding all with a light from elsewhere. Was that perhaps the inner light of Self Gurdjieff promised to awaken?
Now the train skirted a dense wood. It was a golden autumn afternoon. The woods were full of people out walking on pathways thickly carpeted with dead leaves. A fellow roaming with two ginger-colored hunting dogs waved at the train as it passed.
When does a journey really begin, thought Katherine, as the man with the dogs met her eyes, then slid away in the window. It was a little like falling in love or running into debt. The beginning is so subtle you may not notice, then suddenly there you are hurtling into the distance on a train. And there’s no turning back until you reach the end of the line, until you have gone all the way through with it, burning your bridges if need be, and leaving everything tidy in case you never make it back.


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Katherine's Wish_Linda Lappin

Linda Lappin has published four novels:
The Etruscan (Wynkin de Worde, 2004);
Katherine’s Wish, dealing with the life of Katherine Mansfield (Wordcraft, 2008),
shortlisted for Foreward Book of the Year
and IPPY gold medal winner in historical fiction;
Signatures in Stone: A Bomarzo Mystery, winner of the Daphne DuMaurier Award
from RWA for the best mystery novel of 2013;
and Loving Modigliani: The Afterlife of Jeanne Hébuterne.
She is also the author of The Soul of Place: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci,
winner in 2015 of the gold medal in creativity in the Nautilus Book Awards.
She lives in Rome.

Visit the author’s website and her blog.
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