Goldmark, Kathi Kamen
Goldmark, Kathi Kamen
Education: Earned M.A.
Songwriter and performer in country-rock band, Los Train Wreck. Founder, Rock Bottom Remainders (a rock band), 1992—; "Don't Quit Your Day Job" Records, San Francisco, CA, cofounder, president, and janitor, 1995—. Producer of the radio show West Coast Live and author liaison for literary events. Has also worked as a teacher, media consultant to the Mexican government, retail clerk, book publicist, media escort, and waitress.
(With Dave Marsh, introduction by Roy Blount, Jr.) The Great Rock 'n' Roll Joke Book, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 1997.
And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You: A Novel, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2004.
Contributor to Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude, edited by Dave Marsh, Viking/Signet, 1994; My California: Journeys by Great Writers, Angel City Press, 2004; Food That Rocks: Favorite Recipes from the Hottest Kitchens in Music, Conari Press, 2004; and Single Woman of a Certain Age, Inner Ocean Press, 2005. Author, with Sam Barry, of the monthly column "The Author Enablers" for BookPage.com. Contributor to periodicals, including Instant City: A Literary Exploration of San Francisco.
When Kathi Kamen Goldmark decided to make her first novel a tribute to American roots music, she knew what she was doing. Founder of the Rock Bottom Remainders (a rock band comprised of best-selling authors) and also a performer in the country band Los Train Wreck, Goldmark has been on tour and in the recording studio, has written songs, and is also president of her own record company. This background, critics found, served her well in her debut work of fiction, And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You: A Novel. The book tells the story of backup singer Sarah Jean Pixlie, who wakes up after a night of wild sex with a fellow band member to discover that she has been fired—her boss, Cindi-Lu, is jealous that Sarah Jean has been nominated for Newcomer of the Year Award for her song "Heartaches for a Guy." Sarah goes back to her mother's motel, The Dewdrop Inn, where she has to figure out what to do next after discovering she is pregnant. Reviewers admired the book's warmhearted spirit and hilarious look inside the world of country music, especially Sarah Jean's songs, which include such titles as "Credit Card Christmas" and "My Baby Used to Hold Me (Now He's Putting Me on Hold)." Miriam Wolf, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, observed that And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You is "as warmhearted and fun to read as can be," calling the book a "honky-tonk celebration of family, friends and the value of a great song." While a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that the book sometimes veers close to cliché, the reviewer added that Goldmark's "playful humor" and inside knowledge of country music more than compensate. Pam Houston, reviewing the book in O, the Oprah Magazine, described it as a "funny, twangy crowd-pleaser."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2002, Joanne Wilkinson, review of And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You: A Novel, p. 1919; November 15, 2004, Kaite Mediatore, "Mothers of Invention," p. 557.
Charlotte Observer, November 18, 2002, Henry L. Carrigan, Jr., review of And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You.
O, the Oprah Magazine, September, 2002, Pam Houston, "Her Achy Breaky Heart: Kathi Kamen Goldmark's First Novel Is a Funny, Twangy Crowd-Pleaser," p. 104.
Publishers Weekly, August 12, 2002, review of And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You, p. 276.
San Francisco Chronicle, September 29, 2002, Miriam Wolf, review of And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You.
"Don't Quit Your Day Job" Records Web site,http://www.dqydj.com/ (July 28, 2007).
Rock Bottom Remainders Web site,http://www.rockbottomremainders.com/ (August 23, 2007) 2007).