In Their Words: Patricia Klindienst


This post marks the first of what I hope will be many author interviews. The questions are generic, and each author may use as much or as little space as he or she likes. I have not edited content, only format.

Most recently published work (as of this posting): The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americans

Website: (not yet live)

A brief biography:
Patricia Klindienst began her career as an interdisciplinary scholar, publishing the first of her ground-breaking feminist re-interpretations of classical myths and biblical stories, “The Voice of the Shuttle Is Ours,” while still a graduate student in Stanford University’s Program in Modern Thought & Literature. She wrote two companion pieces, “Ritual Work on Human Flesh: Livy’s Lucretia and the Rape of the Body Politic,” and “‘Intolerable Language’: Jesus and the Woman Taken in Adultery” as an award-winning scholar and teacher at Yale University. She then left the profession, putting aside the manuscripts of two scholarly books, one on Virginia Woolf and another a collection of her essays on the iconography of rape, and began to write for a broader audience. Her first book, The Earth Knows My Name tells the stories of fifteen ethnic Americans who transmit their cultural heritage through their gardens. Praised by readers as diverse as Jane Goodall and Barry Lopez, Klindienst’s eloquent and passionate rendering of the voices of ethnic peoples has been called “An original and exemplary kind of cultural study” by Geoffrey Hartman, Sterling Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature and co-founder of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimony at Yale, who characterizes her book as “… essential reading for anyone seriously interested in the growing reality that an ancient ecological relationship, imaginative and religious in its intensity, is slipping away.”

[photo credit: Kelly Becerra]

[Continue to Interview, Part 1]