Kate Axelrod

Kate Axelrod is the author of The Law of Loving Others, published in January 2015. Her writing has appeared in Slate, The Literary Review, Joyland, Wigleaf, Jellyfish Review, Atticus Review, New World Writing, and various other publications. In 2021, she published an article in Romper, sharing her story of changing family dynamics and parenthood.

In praise of The Law of Loving Others, Publishers Weekly wrote, “Axelrod’s prose is careful, intelligent, and contemplative, and the past-tense narration gives the impression of an older Emma looking back at a painful, but critical episode in her teenage years from a safe distance in the future…[A] reflective and incisive exploration of the far-reaching effects of mental illness.”

In an interview with The Sweet Sixteens, Axelrod discussed the inspiration behind The Law of Loving Others, a young adult novel that explores schizophrenia. She shared, “One of my first jobs after college was doing homeless outreach in Manhattan. There was an older woman homeless woman who I would often see downtown. She was very kind and quiet, always reading. Sometimes I would try to talk to her and she would, very politely, tell me all the reasons why she could not live indoors. She had schizophrenia and was exhibited a lot of psychotic symptoms; her homelessness was largely a result of paranoid delusions she had about what would happen if she lived in an apartment. But other times we would have more conventional conversations and she came across as a lovely maternal woman. And at some point, I started thinking: what if my mother had schizophrenia? And that was essentially the germ of the novel.”

Axelrod received her B.A. in Creative Writing from Oberlin College and a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. She has written for Nerve.com, The Nervous Breakdown, and various other publications.

Axelrod was born and raised in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children and works as an advocate in the criminal justice system. 

Updated July 2022

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