Kit Reed (1932–2017)

Kit Reed (1932–2017)

Author of 39 books of fiction, Kit Reed moved to Middletown, Connecticut, in 1960 when her husband, Joe, took a position with Wesleyan’s English Department. Kit became a Visiting Professor of English in 1974, an Adjunct Professor of English in 1987, and Resident Writer in 2008. She has more than a hundred short stories published in periodicals including Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Village Voice Literary Supplement, and Yale Review. Her short story “Winter” (1969) was included in the Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction (1987). Her short story collection, The Story Until Now, was published by Wesleyan in 2013. Her previous books with Wesleyan are Weird Women, Wired Women and Seven for the Apocalypse.

A Guggenheim fellow, and the first American recipient of a five–year literary grant from the Abraham Woursell Foundation, Reed also received the New England Newspaperwoman of the Year award in both 1958 and 1959. Reed is an ALA Alex Award Winner who was nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and World Fantasy Awards.

Reed received her BA from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, in Baltimore, and worked as a reporter at the St. Petersburg Times and New Haven Register before joining the English faculty at Wesleyan. She died September 24, 2017, from a brain tumor.

Kit and Joe were Wesleyan fixtures. They were often seen walking their Scottish terriers around campus. In 2009, a labyrinth was built on campus, in their honor, from funds gathered by their beloved students.

Kit said she did not want a memorial service. As her son Mack said, “Raise a glass in her absence —or a chocolate bonbon—next time you’re out with friends. And keep plugging for the day when Kit just knew you would do something extraordinary. Because, just maybe, you will.”

You can read more about Kit and her writings here, at Locus Online.

Kit is survived by Joe, her children, Kate, Mack, and John, and their families.

In lieu of gifts, the family requests you consider using Kit’s donations page for the Alzheimer’s Walk of Greater Los Angeles (