Judith Kirscht, Author


Judith Kirscht writes novels and short stories on the American experience, carrying the reader deep into the crises that challenge our ideas of contemporary life.




The Camera’s Eye, a new manuscript


Many thanks to Chanticleer Reviews for their support of Indie authors. Hawkins Lane and Home Fires both won first in category awards in 2016 and 2014 respectively. Do check out their great book review site at #CAC17, #SeriousAuthors, #SomersetShortlister, and at their Twitter account,@ChantiReviews. 

This manuscript was also a finalist for the William Faulkner Wisdom Award in 2015.

March 31-April 2, 2017.

Find a good book–or two or three!

Chanticleer Reviews’ prize-winning authors will be selling their books at the  Books by the Bay Book Festival at the Belwether Hotel in Bellingham. My  previous prize winning books, HAWKINS LANE and HOME FIRES will be there, and I’ll be signing books on Sunday.





Latest Book, Released 2015

Hawkins Lane Cover

HAWKINS LANE, my fourth novel, is available in both e-book and print. Order it from your local bookstore by clicking here or find it at < “http://www.amazon.com/Hawkins-Lane-Judith-Kirscht-ebook/dp/B00VK98VW4/”>Amazon:

 Hawkins Lane

Here is a taste!

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When we are young, many of us, like Erica Hawkins, believe we are springing free of home, leaving our past behind. Only later, in the midst of our most treasured relationship, do we realize we have carried it with us. Others, like Ned Hawkins, believe they are forever chained by their past, only freed by love of another. Their love of each other and the Cascades frees both.

Snow lane


The rhythm of their stroking carried them to a stream-carved gorge, and [Ned] led [Erica] along its edge … until he came to a tree-roofed lane. It was silent as a church. Together they stroked its length, then stood in the quiet, looking out across the untrammeled expanse of snow, then down the mountain at the glitter of sun off distant ponds. She laughed and gave a push that sent her out into the untouched blanket then turned down the slope.

“If we must.” She made no move to go. “Do you know what I think? I think you need to live up here—up above everything that has happened to you—where you can look out over the top of it.”

The new reality they forge in the clearing beyond that tunneled lane is deeply rewarding. As mountain rangers, they thrive in a world looking out over the town, and they are blessed with a daughter, Bonnie. It is years before the past bursts forth:

“Your father is out of prison.”

Ned Hawkins held the phone to his ear listening to his mother tell him the inevitable news he’d somehow managed to forget. The years fell away; he was again a murderer’s son. Across the room in a pool of lamplight, Erica sat helping Bonnie with her homework. The scene took on the aura of fantasy. From beyond the window came muted thuds as clumps of snow slid from the roof, and the creek ran loud as the mountains gave up their winter load.

This radical shift in their lives casts Ned back into his former withdrawn and fatalistic self, triggering a response arising from Erica’s earlier life. But that is Erica’s story, which I’ll hold until next time.


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It’s been a long time since a novel has affected me as deeply as did Hawkins Lane. I wasn’t very far into the story before I felt that I knew the main characters almost as well as I know some close friends and members of my own family, and the Hawkins family saga was as compelling and emotionally touching as any I have ever read. Only a few contemporary writers are able to dig so deeply and realistically into the complex heart of human relationships while at the same time presenting those relationships—even a person’s relationship with herself or himself—with such lovely, lyrical prose.

I gave the novel four stars only because it isn’t possible to give it four and a half stars. Why dock it half a star? I think the story may have benefited from offering a bit more “light relief” now and then as a respite from all of the serious drama. Apart from that minor quibble, Hawkins Lane is a magnificent tale that ended perfectly and has lingered in my mind long after finishing the novel. –J.A. Charnov, author of Cascadia’s Curse

Review by J.A. Charnov, author of Cascadia’s Curse.

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5 Star Review for Hawkins Lane from Readers' Favorite

5 Stars for Hawkins Lane


Hawkins Lane by Judith Kirscht is a realistic novel about human nature, family, relationships, as well as prejudices in the society we live in. Hawkins Lane starts with Ned Hawkins and his brother sitting in the courtroom, awaiting a verdict at their father’s trial.

Hawkins Lane is written in a lyrical manner and the plot and characters are very realistically portrayed. The struggles and prejudices are described very empathetically. This is definitely an eye-opener of a novel in the sense that it reminds us that all of us as individual human beings ought to be judged solely on the basis on our characters and not on any external circumstances.

Gisela Dixon for Readers’ Favorite, April 14, 2015

Click here to read the full review.

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Sometimes in spite of one’s best intentions, life can unexpectedly self-destruct. And when it happens to people you care about, such as the likeable young Hawkins family, it’s painful to watch. One minute Ned and Erica Hawkins are living an idyllic, outdoor life with their daughter in Washington’s magnificent Cascade Mountains. A moment later, harsh reality enters their paradise, bringing love’s betrayal, serious – maybe permanent – disablement and . . . even possible murder charges? How can things have gone so incredibly wrong? Can they ever be right again? Trust novelist Judith Kirscht to help us find our way through the twists and turns of this engrossing tale. 

Review by Robert Mottram, author of Think Like Your Dog, In Search of America’s Heartbeat, and others.

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I lived in the Pacific Northwest for forty years, and it was in the last two decades of that stint that I began to write. When I started, I didn’t know anything about writing communities. I didn’t know that if you scratched the surface of any city, town, village, hamlet, you’d find lots of people who scribble and who like to hang out with other scribblers and learn the craft.

I finally found the Skagit Valley writers league and joined it, and that’s where I met Judith Kirscht. She was president of the league. I’ve since moved away from the Skagit Valley, but I’m still interested in the writing lives of the people I became acquainted with there, and when Judith announced her new book, I asked if I could do an interview. I think you’ll be interested in her path to publication. I think, too, that her answers to the questions posed are a window to her literary style and lyrical writing.

Read Liz Adair’s interview with Judith Kirscht and her new novel, Hawkins Lane…

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Every place Judith Kirscht has lived has lent itself to one of the settings of her novels. She grew up in Chicago (“The Inheritors”), raised her family in Michigan (“Nowhere Else to Go”) and taught in California (“Home Fires”).
In her newest novel, “Hawkins Lane,” the Anacortes resident set the action in the North Cascades.

Read Briana Alzola’s interview with Judith Kirscht for the Anacortes American…

Read Judith Kirscht’s guest blog, “Writing the West” on author, Heidi Thomas’s blog.

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Woo Themes, Canvas - Designer, Kate L Williams

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