PERSONAL: Born in Philadelphia, PA; father a college professor, mother a law editor. Education: Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, B.F.A.; New School of Social Research (now New School University), M.F.A. (creative writing), 2003. Hobbies and other interests: Painting, traveling, listening to world music.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Transatlantic Literary Agency, 72 Glengowan Rd., Toronto, Ontario M4N 1G4, Canada. E-mail—[email protected].
CAREER: Author and educator. Has worked as a textile designer. New School University, writing instructor in continuing education division; teacher in elementary-and secondary-school writing workshops. Exhibitions: Work exhibited at Sunnen Gallery, 1993–94, and Margaret Bodell Gallery, New York, NY, 2000–01.
AWARDS, HONORS: Winner, New School University Chapbook Contest in Writing for Children, 2004, for Refugees.
Refugees, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2005.
Also author of books for series published by Pleasant Company.
Kate Heroman and Diane Dodge, Building Your Baby's Brain: A Parent's Guide to the First Five Year, Learning Strategies (Washington, DC), 1999.
Norris Chumley, The Joy of Weight Loss, Lantern Books (New York, NY), 1999.
WORK IN PROGRESS: From Chapter Book to Teen Fiction, 2006.
SIDELIGHTS: Writer and artist Catherine Stine has penned series books published by Pleasant Company. Her first young-adult novel, Refugees, was described as an "earnest first novel [that] follows the fate of two teens after Sept. 11, 2001," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor. In Stine's novel, sixteen-year-old Dawn runs away to New York City in the late summer of 2001, escaping her third foster home in San Francisco shortly after her foster mother, Louise, leaves to work for the Red Cross in Pakistan. At the same time, across the world in Afghanistan, fifteen-year-old Johar has fled his own family in order to avoid pressures to join the terrorist Taliban. Johar becomes Louise's translator, and when Dawn phones her foster mom Johar is the one who answers the calls. The friendship that forms between the two teens is shaken on September 11th, as terrorists kill thousands of Americans in New York City, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania.
Noting the book's organization into alternating narratives between Johar and Dawn, Booklist critic Gillian Engberg wrote that "Stine follows the teens' flights and tense struggles to cope with the tragedies of the attacks," deeming Refugees a "powerful first novel." A Kirkus Reviews contributor also praised Stine's book, noting that "memorable characters and sudden rare beauty make it impossible not to care about Dawn and Johar's world." As Stine explained to Engberg, she wrote the novel as a way to deal with her upset following 9/11: "I wanted to create a dialogue, and I thought, Who better to speak about it than teenagers, who have a very ethical sensibility and an urge to create a better world?"
Stine once noted: "In my booktalks, I speak on what led me to write my historical fiction, Refugees, about the unusual friendship between an American girl and an Afghan boy, during the fall of 2001…. I also describe my rather visual style of writing. As an artist, I strive to inspire reluctant as well as prolific student writers to 'write as if they are painting scenes with words.'"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Artforum International, November, 1993, Ronny Cohen "Catherine Stine," p. 110.
Art in America, December, 2001, Gerrit Henry, "Catherine Stine at Margaret Bodell," p. 120.
Booklist, March 1, 2005, Gillian Engberg, "Teens across Cultures" (interview), and review of Refugees, p. 1183.
Faces: People, Places, and Cultures, March, 2005, review of Refugees, p. 46.
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2005, review of Refugees, p. 57.
Publishers Weekly, March 28, 2005, review of Refugees, p. 80.
School Library Journal, March, 2005, Alison Follos, review of Refugees, p. 220.
Catherine Stine Home Page, http://www.catherinestine.com (October 7, 2005).
Teenreads, http://www.teenreads.com/ (March 15, 2005), interview with Stine.
Transatlantic Literary Agency Web site, http://www.tla1.com/ (October 7, 2005), "Catherine Stine."