Born in San Francisco, Kathryn Cavarly Hulme (1900-1981) attended the University of California at Berkeley for three years. In 1922 she moved to New York City, where she studied journalism, wrote freelance articles, worked as publicity director for the Ask Mr. Foster Travel Service, married Leonard D. Geldert in 1925 and was divorced in 1928. Hulme spent much time in Europe during the 1930s, and her early books reflect her interest in travel.
Hulme worked as an electric arc welder at the Kaiser shipyards during World War II. After the war, she spent six years in Germany as deputy director of United Nations Relief and Refugee Association (UNRRA) field teams. The Wild Place, which won the 1952 Atlantic non-fiction prize, describes conditions at the Wildflecken refugee camp. While there, Hulme met Marie-Louise Habets, a Belgian nurse and former nun who became Hulme’s lifelong companion and whose experiences were the basis for Hulme’s The Nun’s Story (1956), which became a best-seller.
Hulme’s other books are We Lived As Children (1938) which describes a child’s perspective of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, Annie’s Captain (1961), a fictionalized account of her grandparents’ lives, Undiscovered Country (1966), a memoir of her years as a student of mystic G. I. Gurdjieff and her eventual conversion to Catholicism, and Look a Lion in the Eye (1973) about her 1971 safari in East Africa. From 1960 until her death, Hulme lived on the island of Kauai with Marie-Louise Habets.
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