Rosemary, a trans girl, has many conflicting qualities. She’s super smart but flawed, polyamorous but timid, promiscuous but inexperienced. She’s surprising, and surprised by herself.
A call that Rosemary’s grandmother is dying puts her on the bus from Te Whanganui-a-Tara back to Kirikiriroa. There, with her mother, half-sister, and other family and friends, she remembers the damage of her past. And then Thorn – Rosemary’s long-distance daddy – shows up.
Often wildly funny, and with a tender, matter-of-fact closeness to the enigmatic Rosemary, kitten has the wisdom that nothing in life is straightforwardly good or bad. It is a novel for readers who want to be seen and understood, or to see and understand.
For all its darkness and hurt, kitten is a wholesome and consoling love story.
‘I didn’t know I needed kitten until I’d read it and after I’d read it I didn’t know how I’d made it so far without it. This is exactly the novel this fucked-up little country needs. Olive Nuttall shows us the pristine surface trans women present to the world and then folds it back and lets us gaze at all the mess beneath. This book made me cry and this book made me wet. Fuck the duality of man; that’s the duality of trans right there.’ —Always Becominging, author of I Am a Human Being
‘I’d recommend kitten to anyone. The most striking thing about Olive Nuttall’s writing is her genuineness – she’s knowing and ironic but always open and compassionate; nothing is withheld from us. I felt a sense of growing intimacy and friendship between myself, Rosemary, and Nuttall – we were all in it together. Kitten is about things I’d feel afraid to talk about even with my closest friends, but in Nuttall’s hands these things become human and approachable. I trust her completely.’ —Annaleese Jochems, author of Baby
Olive Nuttall completed an MA in Creative Writing in 2022 at Te Pūtahu Tuhi Auaha o te Ao, the International Institute of Modern Letters at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, where she won the 2022 Adam Foundation Prize. Kitten is her first novel.
Cover illustration: Pluto (instagram @plutonicastromancy)
Cover design: Todd Atticus