My debut novel, Kingdom of Women (ISBN 978-1-937543-42-6), will be published on December 1, 2017, by Jaded Ibis Press, a feminist/social justice-oriented publishing house. See the press release here. You can preorder (paperback and ebook) on Amazon and B&N.
Excerpts: The Nervous Breakdown
Praise for Kingdom of Women
“Kearns writes in a precise prose…, delivering sharp images and observant barbs…. The novel’s daring critique of today’s patriarchy never feels didactic or forced.… A bold, politically minded tale with a spiritual soul.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Kingdom of Women is a brilliant, moving novel that delves deep into questions of revenge and compassion, justice and mercy. Can we build a just society based on acts of violence? Rosalie Morales Kearns writes with a deftness and warmth towards her characters. This is a novel full of inventiveness—a must read.” — Rene Denfeld, author of The Enchanted and The Child Finder
“A raw, fierce, … and provocatively sexy and smart take on women rising up in armed conflict against male violence…. This a war story with magical touches that never forgets the tragedies—and pleasures, whether they be carnal desire or the ‘holiness of running water’—that no human can escape.”—Katherine Vaz, author of Mariana, Our Lady of the Artichokes, and The Love Life of an Assistant Animator
“The conflicts that have given rise to the world of Erda are all too familiar: the corrosiveness of patriarchy in personal lives and political regimes.… Not a fixed vision, rather Erda is a utopia in formation struggling to keep reimagining a future.” — Frances Bartkowski, author of Feminist Utopias and co-editor of Feminist Theory: A Reader
In a slightly alternate near-future, women are forming vigilante groups to wreak vengeance on violent men. Averil Parnell, a female Roman Catholic priest, faces a dilemma: per the Golden Rule she should advise forgiveness, but as the lone survivor of an infamous massacre of women seminarians, she understands the women’s anger.
She becomes embroiled in an affair with a handsome young sociopath and a friendship with a female assassin, and the three of them gradually form a dysfunctional triangle of attraction and repulsion, love and obsession. At the same time, Averil is beset by unwanted religious visions: she sees the souls of dead monks, converses with Jesus, slips into alternate realities.
She had wanted to be a scholar, before the trauma of the massacre. Later, all she wanted was a quiet life as a parish priest. But now she finds that she has become a mystic, and a central figure in the social upheaval that’s gathering momentum all over the world.
Kingdom of Women spans decades and delves into multiple points of view, not only highlighting the personal evolution of a complex, troubled individual but also exploring larger themes like the ethical implications of the use of violence against oppression, and the tension between justice and mercy, revenge and forgiveness.
Rosalie Morales Kearns, a writer of Puerto Rican and Pennsylvania Dutch descent, is the founder of the feminist publishing house Shade Mountain Press. She’s the author of the novel Kingdom of Women (forthcoming, Jaded Ibis Press) and the magic-realist story collection Virgins and Tricksters (Aqueous, 2012), described by Marge Piercy as “succinct, smart tales rooted in a female-centered spirituality.” Kearns is also the editor of the short story anthology The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly Women (Shade Mountain Press, 2015), praised by Kirkus Reviews as a “vital contribution to contemporary literature.”
A product of Catholic schooling from kindergarten through college, Kearns has a B.A. in theology from Fordham University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Illinois. She is a freelance copyeditor specializing in scholarly book manuscripts for academic presses. She has also taught creative writing at the University of Illinois, the State University of New York at Albany, and adult education venues.
She lives in Albany, New York, with her partner, the political scientist Pedro Cabán, and three black cats, Morgan, Viviane, and Godiva.