Tchana, Katrin Hyman 1963–

views updated

Tchana, Katrin Hyman 1963–

(Katrin Tchana, Katrin H. Tchana)


Surname is pronounced ‘cha-na"; born May 2, 1963, in Malden, MA; daughter of Harris (an engineer) and Trina Schart (an illustrator) Hyman; married Eugene Tchana (an information systems manager, 1988 (marriage ended); companion of Mary Helen Bentley (a social worker); children: Michon Eymard, Xavier Claude. Ethnicity: ‘Caucasian.’ Education: Attended Bennington College, 1979-81, College of the Atlantic, 1981-83, and Columbia University, 1988-91. Politics: Progressive. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, tarot, dream interpretation.


Home—Norwich, VT.


Teacher of English as a second language in Burlington, VT, 1991-94, and Hanover, NH, 1996-98; crisis counselor in Lebanon, NH, 1998-2000; emergency clinician in Randolph, VT, 2000-04; dialectical behavioral therapist in Lebanon, NH, 2004—.


(With Louise Tchana Pami) Oh, No, Toto!, illustrated by Colin Bootman, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1997.

(Under name Katrin Tchana; reteller) The Serpent Slayer: And Other Stories of Strong Women, illustrated by mother, Trina Schart Hyman, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2000.

(Under name Katrin Tchana; reteller) Sense Pass King: A Story from Cameroon, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2002.

(Reteller) Changing Woman and Her Sisters: Stories of Goddesses from Around the World, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2006.


Katrin Hyman Tchana told CA: ‘I started writing stories as soon as I could write words.

"The myths and fairy tales I grew up with inform my understanding of the world, how I see it and how I describe it. This understanding has been enriched by the study of archetypes and my work as a psychotherapist. And my mother's spirit is always with me—we saw the world in the same way.

"I allow myself to write really lousy first drafts—whatever comes out is fine. Then I go back and rewrite. Then I let someone else read the work, and rewrite again."

When asked the most surprising thing she has learned as a writer, Tchana said: ‘That when I have the courage to be truthful about my own experience, I find the strength to live freely and joyfully in this world and the ability to help others live that way as well.

"The goddess book (Changing Woman and Her Sisters: Stories of Goddesses from Around the World) is my favorite. It was an honor to spend so much time with the goddess in all her different manifestations.

"I hope my books will inspire people to take themselves seriously and treat themselves and others in a loving manner, and help counteract the messages of despair that are so ubiquitous in our culture."