Kali VanBaale

Kali VanBaale (Fiction) | Des Moines, IA

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Kali VanBaale’s debut novel, The Space Between, earned an American Book Award, the Independent Publisher’s silver medal for general fiction, and the Fred Bonnie Memorial First Novel Award. Her second novel, The Good Divide, was published by Midwestern Gothic Press June, 2016. Her third novel, The Cure for Hopeless Causes, was awarded a State of Iowa Arts Council major artist grant and is represented by Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, pending publication. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Numéro Cinq, The Milo Review, Northwind Literary, Poets & Writers, The Writer and several anthologies. Kali holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and she is a faculty member in the Lindenwood University MFA in Creative Writing Program. She currently lives and writes outside Des Moines with her husband and three children.


The Good Divide (MG Press, 2016). Fiction.
The Space Between (River City Publishing, 2006). Fiction.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

The Good Divide surprises with the depth of…heartache, the intensity of the torments and jealousies that its characters succumb to, or survive.”
—Caitlin Horrocks, author of This is Not Your City

“VanBaale serves up romance, deception, and a final, surprising retribution. The backdrop is a Wisconsin dairy farm, but the subject is the wounded recesses of the human heart.”
—Pamela Carter Joern, author of In Reach and The Floor of the Sky

“With gentle echoes of Richard Yates and Sherwood Anderson, The Good Divide…conveys the chaos and complications of domesticity—[it] is sure to make your heart simultaneously swell and splinter.”
—Mathieu Cailler, author of Loss Angeles

“VanBaale masterfully captures that crazy mystical spirit of farm folklore. Dark and delicious reading for those of us who love best the characters who’ve earned their baggage.”
—Jennifer Wilson, author of Running Away to Home and Water

“We love it. And we thought, this is what a page-turner feels like – the thrill of wondering what comes next and then quickly turning the page to find out, happy that the next chapter is not so long as to require us to wait until the next day because we shouldn’t stay up longer just to read and trying to figure out when we can read next when work, children and a myriad of another generally positive annoyances stand between us and the book.”
—Ben Tanzer, This Blog Will Change Your Life

The Space Between is a heart-rending, unflinching, lyrically powerful look into events both extraordinary and familiar, and an exploration of a family’s collective soul–how it trembles and aches and struggles to recover. By poignantly rendering the characters’ lives, what VanBaale reveals is as shocking as it is comforting: the space between us is an illusion, so we’re all in this together.”
—Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This, and Corpus Christi: Stories

“Kali VanBaale slices straight to the heart of a mother’s agony and guides us through her journey toward self-revelation; the triumph of this debut novelist lies in her compassion for those who suffer tragedy and learn from their mistakes. This is an important novel for parents and teenagers, for anyone who cares about what’s happening in our schools and homes. I read straight through the darkness into the morning hours that shimmered with new light.”
—Bev Marshall, author of Walking Through Shadows, Right As Rain, and Hot Fudge Sunday Blues

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