Kathleen Norris

American writer (1880-1966)

Kathleen Thompson Norris (July 16, 1880January 18, 1966) was a popular American novelist and newspaper columnist. She was one of the most widely read and highest paid women writers in the United States for nearly fifty years, from 1911 to 1959. Her stories appeared in the Atlantic, The American Magazine, McClure's, Everybody's, Ladies' Home Journal and Woman's Home Companion, and she wrote 93 novels, many of which were best sellers. She used her fiction to promote values including the sanctity of marriage, the nobility of motherhood, and the importance of service to others.

Kathleen Norris in 1925, photograph by Arnold Genthe.


  • Home ought to be our clearing house, the place from which we go forth lessoned and disciplined, and ready for life.
  • I write what I would like to read – what I think other women would like to read. If what I write makes a woman in the Canadian mountains cry and she writes and tells me about it, especially if she says ‘I read it to Tom when he came in from work and he cried too,’ I feel I have succeeded.
    • Kathleen Norris, on the publication of her seventy-eighth book, as cited in: James Charlton. The Writer's quotation book. 1985. p. 34
  • What is enough? Are there enough trees here? As always, it seems that, the more I can distinguish my true needs from my wants, the more of a shock it is to realize how little is enough.
    • "Dreaming of Trees" anthologized in The Sweet Breathing of Plants: Women Writing on the Green World edited by Linda Hogan and Brenda Peterson (2001)
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