(photo of Valerie by Dennis Hearne)

About St. Ursula's Girls Against the Atomic Bomb:

How can an eighteen-year-old who is haunted by the world's problems possibly concentrate on chemistry and trigonometry?
Raine Rassaby is a senior at St. Ursula's Academy in New York City, but rather than study, she rescues wounded birds, arranges pilgrimages to nuclear missile silos, befriends street people, gets arrested, and organizes a group called St. Ursula's Girls Against the Atomic Bomb. The Mother Superior, hoping to set Raine on a more wholesome path, sends her to the school guidance counselor. But the counselor, Al Klepatar, is beleaguered by problems of his own. He has lost interest in his work and suspects that his wife is falling in love with another man.
Al is strangely drawn into Raine's life, and the more he becomes involved in her passions, the less he understands himself. In the depths of their fractured worlds, Raine and Al are surprised by what they discover--about the world and about themselves.


Valerie has completed her second novel, Hitler's Vegetarian Cook , and is working on a sequel to St. Ursula's called The Baby Thief.

Valerie's story, "Father McCrory and Mrs. Gulliver," appeared in the August 2009 issue of Rosebud.

"The Whiskey on Her Breath," published in The Sun magazine in September 2008 (issue #393), received a "Most Notable" mention in Best American Essays 2009.

Valerie was named as a finalist in the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards Program for 2007. Her entry was an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, The Baby Thief.

Valerie's short story, "Jasmine, Washing the Hair of Pearsa," was chosen from a pool of over five hundred stories as the winner of the 2007 Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize. The story was included in the anthology, The 2007 Robert Olen Butler Prize Stories, published by the Del Sol Press/​Web del Sol Association.

The paperback edition of Valerie's novel, St. Ursula's Girls Against the Atomic Bomb, was published by Plume (a member of Penguin Group USA). The hardcover original was published in 2003 by MacAdam/​Cage (see "Hardcover" page, above).

Praise for St. Ursula's Girls Against the Atomic Bomb:

"Raine Rassaby, precocious, insightful, wryly funny and hilariously brave, is the most engaging character I have met in some time. This beautifully written novel is sheer delight."
--Andrea Barrett, author of Ship Fever,
National Book Award winner.

"Each page shimmers with idiosyncratic beauty and compassion and a deep abiding love for this amazing planet and all its inhabitants..."
--Gayle Brandeis, winner of the Bellwether Prize, 2002, for The Book of Dead Birds

"Oh, if only poor Holden could have met Raine Rassaby. He would have fallen for this young woman hard, as does any reader with the heart of a seeker."
--Tom Paine, author of Scar Vegas and Pearl of Kuwait

"I am completely in love with this book and its amazing heroine. A beautiful, surprising, transporting piece of work. Lucky you, reading it for the first time. Buy it!"
--Karen Joy Fowler, author of Sister Noon and The Jane Austen Book Club