A woman with red lipstick is posing for a photo.

Kathleen Bryson

My Story from Twisted’s Evil Little Sister: The Auto-Cannibal

Favourite quote: ‘I’m going to do the picture as an etching. They can tear up the canvas, but they’ll have a sweet time eating copper’


Kathleen Bryson’s two previous novels: Mush (2001, Diva Books) and Girl on a Stick (2008, Suspect Thoughts Press). Day-job as evolutionary anthropologist means she wears labcoats, geek specs. Night-job as artist-filmmaker means she wears berets, smocks.

Alaskan multi-artist Kathleen Bryson has BA degrees in Swedish and Anthropology (University of Washington), an MA in Independent Film (London College of Printing), a postgraduate certificate in Acting (London Academy of Performing Arts), and is in the last year of her doctorate in Evolutionary Anthropology (University College London).

Bryson’s first novel, Mush (Diva Books 2001), was described by Mslexia magazine as “stunningly good… an atmospheric novel with a slow, filigree beauty and the same gritty heart as the frozen tundra of Alaska in which it is set. Sharply reminiscent of The Shipping News, and as rich in language-play”. Time Out magazine wrote that it “perfectly captures the timeless quality of childhood”.


Her second novel was Girl on a Stick (Suspect Thoughts Press 2008). Three-times Booker shortlisted author Ali Smith described it for the cover blurb as “sassy, clever, bright, dark, true, and, most importantly, alive”. Girl on a Stick was also pronounced as “a cross between Tom Robbins and Francesca Lia Block… a viscerally resonating, unnerving anti-love story … A solid grounding to Bryson’s beautifully meandering prose.” (The Oregonian) and “a smart, subversive read from a highly distinctive talent.” (four stars) (Attitude magazine).


Following her co-directed feature The Viva Voce Virus (UK 2008, dir. Bryson/Möykky), for which she also wrote the screenplay, Bryson was accepted to Berlinale Talent Campus at the Berlin International Film Festival; her short films have screened at 20+ festivals. She is in post-production for a second feature called Baked Alaska, which she also has written and in which she plays the lead role (dir. Kimmo Möykky).


Bryson’s short stories and poems have been published in 40+ journals and magazines, and as a painter Bryson has had 9 solo painting exhibitions and participated in multiple group art shows, including one in an ex-brothel/erstwhile Nirvana venue. Most recently she exhibited both films and paintings at the APT Gallery’s 2015 Need & Error show (London), which also toured Brussels at the ZSenne Art Lab. Bryson now lives in North London, where she’s finishing her doctorate in evolutionary anthropology and writing a novel about a little girl with stag horns.


My Links: Website