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Catherine Hiller's fiction has always been fueled by passion. In her first novel, An Old Friend from High School, a happily married young wife is confounded to find herself in love with a woman. In The Adventures of Sid Sawyer, Tom Sawyer's half-brother Sid enjoys kissing cousin Mary. Hiller's short story collection, Skin: Sensual Tales, won praise from John Updike. In her new novel, Cybill Unbound, Hiller writes about the sexual adventures of an older woman. Cybill is 42 when the book begins, 72 when it ends, and she has romantic episodes throughout. The novel breaks the taboo about portraying the sexuality of older women and challenges the monogamous ideal.




My first short story was inspired by a True Confessions magazine I read at an older cousin's house. Like the ones in the magazine, mine was a story of transgression and regret. I  was eight. My cousin cracked up.


I grew up in Greenwich Village and Park Slope and attended Hunter College High School and Brooklyn College. I spent my junior year at the University of Sussex. In graduate school, I was inspired by the sexuality in John Updike's novels and I wrote a PhD dissertation about him at Brown.


My first published piece, "The Sleeping Beauty Was a Man," about gender role reversal in "The Way We Were," appeared in the New York Times in 1974.


Since then, sex has been central to my work. My first novel, An Old Friend from High School (Pocket Books), is about a happily married woman who unexpectedly falls in love with another woman.


My second novel, 17 Morton Street (St. Martin's Press), a Book-of-the-Month Club Selection, is about three sisters who live on different floors of a townhouse. One of them hires a male au pair . . .


Soon, I began publishing stories and satires in Penthouse magazine. Just before Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022, a piece from 1982, "Embryo Patrol," was republished by Ms.com. It's probably the only piece published by both of these publications.   


My third novel, California Time (St. Martin's Press), is about a New York family in LA; the son and the daughter each have a sexual awakening. 


My story collection, Skin: Sensual Tales (Carroll & Graf), was praised by John Updike who said "Catherine Hiller writes with a fine directness and clarity. Good, brave and joyful fiction."


The Adventures of Sid Sawyer (Armadillo Central) takes Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer—and turns it upside down. Told from Sid's point of view, in my version, Sid is a genius and Tom is a bully. And Sid enjoys kissing cousin Mary.


My next book was a detour from my usual subject. In Just Say Yes: A Marijuana Memoir (Heliotrope Books), I chronicle my 50 years as a daily marijuana smoker. I go backward in time, with each chapter showing an earlier stage of my life.


The book created something of a stir. The first chapter, "How I Buy Weed," was published as an Opinionator piece in the New York Times. This was followed by a profile about me in news section of  the Times in April 2015.  For about a year, I gave interviews and wrote pieces about cannabis, some of which I cross-posted on Huffington Post.


I soon reverted to my former obsession: passion and its consequences. My next novel, The Feud (Heliotrope Books), is about a deadly workplace rivalry. It opens with Nikki opening her email and seeing a photo of herself and two men—naked.


I have also coproduced two documentary films: The Visa War Against Ideas for PBS and Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider for the Sundance Channel.


I live with my husband, Mark Thompson, in Westchester County and Sag Harbor, N.Y. I have three sons, two granddaughters and a dog.


I am beginning a new novel, The Other Woman, in which a man's longtme lover tries to improve both his life and his marriage.  





I Stripped Down for Nude Body Painting . . . and So Did My Husband  Huffington Post 


Do You Recall What Happened on Monday 3 Weeks Ago - NextTribe


Why We Can't Stop Obsessing About Our Hair - The Ethel


The Trend I Don't Want To Follow - The Girlfriend


Oh No! I've Wasted The Pandemic! - The Girlfriend


Memorizing the World - AARP Magazine


Crying to Please My Mother - The New York Times Sunday Review