Karma Kitaj (pronounced “Key-Tie”) published the second historical novel in the series about Miriam Butler, nee Levine, having become smitten with writing fiction after her first foray into this genre with the publication of Beguiled in 2018 (Koehler Books). The sequel, Becoming a Woman of Substance, follows the protagonist from 1938 to 1960, in Greenwich Village of the Great Depression, WWII, the Holocaust, and beyond.

Curious about the topic of resiliency from the time she wrote her dissertation, Karma had published two non-fiction books, Women Who Could… and Did (2002)based on interviews of high-achieving women over age 65 in the arts and sciences and Women Riders Who Could… and Did (2010)based on equestriennes of note. Each of the women survived and flourished, despite cultural and family roadblocks.

Before she discovered writing fiction, she authored a blog (www.RetirementAsYouWantIt.com) and articles for online publications, such as the Huffington Post. She contributed a chapter on creativity to Live Smart After 50! The Experts Guide to Life Planning for Uncertain Times, published by the Life Planning Network. She hosted a TV show she created, (archived on YouTube and Vimeo), called “New Adventures As We Age” where she interviewed 100+ people over age 50.

Having been a “listening” expert all her adult life , as a psychotherapist and life coach (www.LifeSpringCoaching.com), she was fascinated by hearing and helping people make sense of their stories. Writing fiction was a natural evolution of that. Her experience as a trauma psychotherapist allowed her to know intimately the motivations of the characters in Beguiled and in Becoming a Woman of Substance

A “woman who could… and did” herself, Karma went back to graduate school in her 40’s after her 102 year old Viennese grandmother asked her: “When will you finish your studies” (having had two PhD sons herself). Seven years later, Karma had her PhD, although Grandma was long gone.

At age fifty, Karma started riding horses in earnest, although she had never been athletic as a child. This became a passion that she and her husband share together. She also discovered the ancient art of encaustic painting, which led to a new career as an artist (see www.KitajArt.com and www.SaatchiArt.com/karmak). Her teenage love of dance inspired her (and her willing husband) to study the Argentinian tango, a sublimely sensuous and challenging one to master.

Karma and her husband Jeff Cooper live in their country retreat in Western Massachusetts accompanied by their two adorable rescue dogs from Mexico.

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On the Blog

More Real People in My Historical Novels

In addition to the 3 luminaries I mentioned in my last post: Hallie Flanagan, Frank Shay and Romany Marie Marchand- there are a number of others that might intrigue you. In my recently published story, Becoming a Woman of Substance, I include a scene about a woman...