Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination


Lithium for Medea is a tale of addiction: to drugs, to physical love, to dysfunctional family chains. It is also a tale of mothers and daughters, their mutual rebellion and unconscious mimicry. Rose grew up with an emotionally crippled, narcissistic mother while her father, a veteran gambler, spent his waking hours in the garden cut off from his wife’s harangues. Now an adult, Rose works her way through a string of unhealthy love(less) affairs. After a brief, unhappy marriage, she slips more deeply and dangerously into the lair of a parasitic, cocaine-fed artist whose sensual and manipulative ways she grows unable to resist. Like a drug that leaves one’s perceptions forever altered, Lithium for Medea sears us with Rose’s breathless, fierce, visceral flight.

Collected in  

Radical Women

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“Kate Braverman's Lithium for Medea is jumpy, kinetic, and finally very powerful, a deeply felt piece of work by a very gifted young writer.”

“[Lithium for Medea] has the power and intensity you don't see much outside of rock and roll.”

“Kate Braverman has the ability to write a great tragedy.”

“[Lithium for Medea] lays bare the dark side of the family while ironically affirming the primacy of familial allegiance … The vividness of poetic image is present from the first page.”


A native of Los Angeles who grew up surrounded by the counterculture of San Francisco, Kate Braverman received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and her MA in English from Sonoma State University. As astute an observer of California’s marginal spaces as she is a bold experimenter in form, Braverman is the author of four novels, four books of poetry, and a collection of short stories. She has won the Best American Short Story Award on multiple occasions and received the O. Henry Award for her story Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta in 1992. Braverman currently lives in New Mexico.