Humans of Kino | Kathryn

Kathryn Barker, Balmain


Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, my name’s Kathryn Barker and I’m the author of the Young Adult novel, In the Skin of a Monster. I was born in Canberra, but growing up involved plenty of travel. I started primary school in Tokyo (the only kid with a sandwich in my lunchbox) and finished high school in the woods outside Olympia, Washington State (aka that rainy place where Twilight was set). These days I live in Sydney, squeezing writing into spare moments.

Why are you here today?

I came into the store to talk to the staff about my upcoming book launch, which I’ll be having here at Kinokuniya! I’m also looking for a present for my Dad – he speaks Japanese so I figured this was the place to come.


What book would you recommend to everyone and why?

Truman Capote’s novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s a stunning little story that has a completely different (and much darker) tone to the iconic Hollywood adaptation. Don’t get me wrong, I love Audrey Hepburn… but there’s something about Truman’s Holly Golightly that’s always stayed with me.


Tell us about a book that has changed your life.

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. I hadn’t been much of a reader up until that point… but I just couldn’t put that book down. I read the whole thing, cover-to-cover, then immediately read it’s sequel, Tandia. When I finished I announced to my family that I was going to be a lawyer, just like Peekay and Tandia.


If there was a book that could sum you up as a person, what would it be?

Oh, the Place’s You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss. Equal parts silly and profound, this is a wonderful story about life told through clever rhyme. Falling down, getting up, finding your way, feeling brave, being scared, using your imagination, facing your fears, un-slumping yourself, occasionally making up words… Oh, the Place’s You’ll Go! is a little book that’s packed with big themes and I smile every time I read it.



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