Novelist Catherine Breslin, of NYC and Lower Bartonsville, dies at 80

Author Catherine Breslin lived in Lower Bartonsville.

Author Catherine Breslin lived in Lower Bartonsville.

Journalist and author Catherine “Cate” Breslin, 80, of New York and Lower Bartonsville, Vt., died July 23, 2016 at the Springfield Rehabilitation Center of complications from brittle diabetes.

Born Mary Catherine Breslin on Feb. 22, 1936 in Springfield, Mass., the second of three daughters born to Dr. James Edward Breslin and his wife Adeline Devereaux.

Her childhood was spent in Pittsfield, Mass. During high school years, she attended Kenwood Academy, Convent of the Sacred Heart in Albany, N.Y. and graduated with honors from the University of Toronto, where she was an editor of the respected daily student newspaper. After graduation, Ms. Breslin lived in Montreal, writing for a local magazine and, subsequently, based in Hong Kong, traveled widely in Asia.

In 1964, Ms. Breslin moved to Manhattan and penned articles for various magazines including Ms. Magazine, the Village Voice and especially New York Magazine. While covering the trial of a young nun accused of killing her newborn child for Ms Magazine, she decided to use the story as a basis for her first novel, Unholy Child, which was published to considerable success in 1979. Other books were The Mistress Condition and First Ladies.

Surviving are her sisters Danna de Rochefort of Chester and Susan Breslin of Folly Beach, S.C. She is also survived by five nieces and nephews, Marc de Rochefort of Toulouse, France, Ghislaine de Rochefort of Washington, D.C., Pierre de Rochefort
of Geneva, Switzerland, Laurent de Rochefort of Woods Hole, Mass., and Alexandra (Sasha) de Buy Wenniger of Topsfield Mass.

A private family memorial is planned for later this year in Bartonsville.

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  1. David Brown says:

    Knew Catherine in NYC in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Many a wonderful party was held at her uppahweside (sic) apartment. She was a good soul and a talented writer. May she find eternity everything it is cracked up to be.