Victoria Nelson and Jack Werner Stauffacher celebrate the release of Bestiary of My Heart: Cautionary Tales

On Wednesday, December 14, 2011, Victoria Nelson joined Jack Werner Stauffacher as City Lights celebrated Jack’s 91st Birthday! on the occasion of the release of Bestiary Of My Heart: Cautionary Tales (InkerMen Press) by Victoria Nelson.

King Cobra. Draculess. Son of the Pope. Black leather cats. Panther-parrots. A wild child. An eighty-year-old woman eight months pregnant. A man and a woman. A woman and a woman. A woman and a dead man. Flash floods and earthquakes. Spirit animals and strange herbs. The pig that knew the trick. A man’s heart roasted on a spit. A red ruby. Stories drawn from dreams, anecdotes, and other unexpected sources over thirty years.

Tall tales, cataclysms, transformations.


‘Victoria Nelson must stop being a national secret. What a writer she is! And what a mind she is—brilliant, original, imaginative; her language dazzles. A splendid critic and storyteller, she is also an authority on the literature of the spectral and the surreal. In A Bestiary of My Heart, Nelson and Deborah Barrett achieve a mesmerizing fusion of tale and drawing reminiscent of the high art of Bruno Schulz.’ – Cynthia Ozick

‘Rather than a bestiary, Victoria Nelson could well call her book a treasure chest or jewel box. She gifts the reader with gems, crowns, amulets—poetry. Resplendence. Deep Satisfaction.’ – Maxine Hong Kingston

Victoria Nelson is the author of the award-winning The Secret Life of Puppets, and its companion volume, the forthcoming, Gothika. Her other works include a memoir, a study of creativity, and a previous collection of stories Wild California. She was the co-translator of Letters, Drawings, and Essays of Bruno Schultz and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Jack Werner Stauffacher is an master printer, typeface designer, and fine book publisher. He has taught at the Carnegie Mellon University and the San Francisco Art Institute. He is the founder of Greenwood Press and examples of his work can be found in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.