While Visiting Babette

By Kat Meads

Ina adores Babette and visits her cousin regularly in whichever facility Babette currently resides. She trusts Babette’s take on all things and has since childhood ("orphans cannot afford to be squeamish"), but on Tuesday’s visit, to her grave detriment, Ina fails to follow Babette’s advice when an “incident” throws all in chaos.

("I told you to hide, cousin,” Babette said sorrowfully…)

A one-way Alice in Wonderland, Ina now lives in Babette’s world of lockdowns, barred windows, displaced ducks, mashed potatoes, plays told as stories and stories told as plays, perpetual cleaning, howls in the night and far too many windows.

Staying sane isn’t as simple as it seems.


A North Carolina native, Kat Meads is the author of six novels (one written as Z.K. Burrus), three essay collections, two short fiction collections, an epistolary memoir and a hybrid fiction. She has also published several chapbooks of poetry and prose. Her short plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Toronto (Canada) and elsewhere.

Her writing has been recognized by two Independent Publisher (IPPY) medals, an NEA fellowship, a California Artist fellowship and two Silicon Valley artist grants.

A five-time Foreword Reviews Book of the Year finalist, she has received five Best American Essays Notable citations and writer residencies at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Yaddo, Millay, Blue Mountain Center and Montalvo Center for the Arts.

She lives in California.

pub date: 2025-02-18
114 pages