Kate Walter: The Village Scribe

Books & Media

Behind the Mask: Living Alone in the Epicenter

By Kate Walter

Heliotrope Books

Publishing date: November 16, 2021

Nonfiction; Memoir Of Essays

Price: $16.00 paper; $8.99 e-book

ISBN: 978-1-942762-81-2 paperback; 136 pages

978-1-942762-82-9 e-book

Kate Walter loved her life as a single gay woman living in New York City’s famous Westbeth Artists Housing in Greenwich Village. She was in that sweet spot—recently retired from a long teaching career, but hardly retired, she was living the dream. Finally, her time was her own, a chance to expand and explore.

She was embedded in a vibrant artistic community. She was a published writer, met friends for lunch, went to museums, and concerts, and readings. She took yoga classes and belonged to a writing workshop, a singing group, a church. She celebrated all the holidays with her family in New Jersey.

In early 2020, the lively community of Westbeth Artists Housing was gearing up to celebrate its 50th anniversary. But when New York City went into Covid 19 pandemic lockdown, Westbeth turned into a ghost town…


by Kate Walter

Heliotrope Books

Publishing date: June 16, 2015

How long does it take to get over heartache? Journalist and teacher Kate Walter wondered if she’d ever feel whole again after her long-term lesbian partnership ended.

A resident of Greenwich Village who spent years recording neighborhood life, Walter explores her recovery from despair in her debut memoir Looking for a Kiss: A Chronicle of Downtown Heartbreak and Healing. Dedicated to “women who have been dumped after 25 years,” the memoir shares her broke, brokenhearted state of being left by a partner of two decades. While many older women—gay and straight—experience divorce, Walter’s break up was more stressful since she was not legally married. But rather than dwelling in regret, Looking for Kiss carries a hopeful message: you can heal your life and land up in a better place. Readers are invited to share her journey to a more conscious life—or at least a hot kiss.

With brave and revealing details, Walter confesses her grief and rage and questions her past choices…