Katharine Brush

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Katharine Brush (August 15, 1902 – June 10, 1952) was an American author.

Katharine Brush: portrait by Leon Gordon, 1933


According to her autobiographical collection of works, This Is On Me (1940), which featured a story about what in the 1970s became known as latchkey children),OCLC 26043754 Katharine Brush was born Katharine Ingham in Middletown, Connecticut. Brush did not attend college, but instead began working as a columnist for the Boston Evening Traveller. During her career she published multiple short stories in serial magazines like College Humor and Cosmopolitan; the best known of these were collected in a book titled Night Club (1929). Brush's works are characterized by her involving narrative style and wit.

Brush was born Katharine Ingham in Middletown, Connecticut on August 15, 1902. She first attracted attention in the 1920s with her short stories published under her married name, Katharine Brush. Her story "Him and Her" (published in Collier's Weekly March 16, 1929) was an O. Henry Award winner named "Best Short Short" of 1929. She also received honorable mentions for her short stories in 1927 ("Night Club" Harper's Magazine September 1927), 1931 ("Good Wednesday", Harpers), and 1932 ("Football Girl", College Humor, October 1931). Her short short story "The Birthday Party" is frequently taught in literature classes.

Katharine Brush also christened the USCGC Ingham, on that date and the new cutter was formally commissioned on 12 September 1936. (Where it would later be decommissioned in 1988.) The ship was named after Samuel D. Ingham.

Brush's novel Young Man of Manhattan was named the 9th best-selling novel of 1930 by Publishers Weekly and later that year was made into a film starring Claudette Colbert, Norman Foster, and Ginger Rogers. Brush, however, is probably best known today for her subsequent novel Red-Headed Woman, which was made into a film in 1932 starring Jean Harlow which remains a pre-code classic for its racy humor.

Her first husband was Thomas Stewart Brush, son of Louis H. Brush of Brush-Moore Newspapers.[1]

Twice married and the mother of one child, Brush died in New York City just over two months before what would have been her 50th birthday.

Her son, Thomas S. Brush, gave a new library in her name to the Loomis Chaffee School of Windsor, CT, in 1968. The building, designed by architect Kenneth DeMay of Hideo Sasaki's firm Sasaki, Dawson, DeMay Associates (now Sasaki Associates), is still in use today at the school. The Katharine Brush Library contains a larger than life-size portrait by Leon Gordon of Katharine Brush looking down the length of the second floor.

Her short story Birthday Party appeared on the 2005 Advanced Placement English Literature Exam; the story was originally published in The New Yorker's Fiction section in 1946. Brush's Connecticut home was featured on an episode of HGTV's "If Walls could Talk".

Selected list of works[2][edit]