Jana Martin

Jana Martin

Jana Martin is a fiction and nonfiction writer who lives on a small farm in the Hudson Valley with a number of dogs, a flock of chickens, and various other birds. 

She's the author of numerous books and articles, including the acclaimed short story collection, Russian Lover and Other Stories (VerseChorusPress/YetiBooks, 2007), as well as Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Abbeville Press, 2000), and Great Inventions, Good Intentions: U.S. Design Patents, 1930-1945(Chronicle Books, 1999). She also wrote Scarlett Saves Her Family (Simon & Schuster, 2000), a book about a hero mother cat who was rescued by a fire company in East New York. The book was excerpted in Cosmopolitan, featured on Oprah, Geraldo(don't ask), and other talk shows, and featured in magazines such as People and US. Her fiction has been published in Five Points, Glimmer Train, Spork, the Mississippi Review online, and other magazines; her nonfiction has appeared on the weeklings.com, and in The New York Times, Marie Claire,Chronogram, the Village Voice, and numerous publications. She has also contributed to a number of art and photography books, including Avedon: The Sixties, Out of Line, and an amazing, awardwinning book on the artist Ron Nagel. 

A graduate of the MFA writing program at the University of Arizona, she attended Oberlin College and Hunter College High School, the penultimate training ground for nerds looking to infiltrate normal society.  She remains a fervent believer in justice for wolves and women and is working on a novel about the subject.

Zen Cats


To delight cat lovers everywhere, here are more than 60 irresistible portraits of the Zenlike cats of Japan.

The embodiment of Zen--independent, serene, enlightened--these cats inhabit the temples, shrines, gardens, and parks of Japan. Photographer Yoshiyuki Yaginuma has captured these free spirits in many poses, from meditating in a garden and baring fangs in a hunting stance to frolicking with the family, perching on statues, and curling in repose.In Japan cats have always occupied a special place: the eternal symbol of good luck is a white cat with its paw raised, and ancient screens from centuries past are often graced with a cat. And in the rarified world of Buddhist and Shinto temples, cats have been welcomed for practical reasons. Since the monks eat rice and so do mice, there's more rice for the monks with cats regulating the population.

Fascinated by these Zen cats, Yaginuma regularly visits temples and other places where they reside, and he feels that the cats wait to greet him and his camera. Jana Martin's intriguing commentary discuss the cat in Japanese myth, folklore, and in Zen writings. She pairs the irresistible feline portraits with poems by generations of Zen disciples and monks, who do not assign any human quality to them but praise them for what they are. How perfectly Zenlike after all!

Read more