Hi, I’m Kat!

Thanks for stopping by.

I write things for a living. Usually those things are not books. But when I care about something so deeply that I don’t feel like I have a choice, I write a book. So far I’ve written two. Maybe at some point I’ll write more!

About Me

I grew up in Rhode Island (and a little bit in Holland and Switzerland).

I met my husband as an acting intern at a Shakespeare festival. It took me two years to figure out we were more than friends.

I had breasts until I was 51. Then I had some cancer and decided not to have breasts anymore.

I don’t miss them.

As a young person, I loved to dance and sing and be on stage.

I’ve lived nearly all of my adult life in New York City.

I am pretty serious about cooking. Also eating. I spend most of my time thinking about what I’m going to cook and/or eat next. Even in the middle of a meal, I may be thinking about my next meal.

I compost religiously. That is my only religious affiliation.

I majored in theater at Yale.

I don’t sing or dance anymore (except in the shower and the elevator) but I still love going to the theater.

If I stand up very straight I’m 5’2”.

What I lack in height I make up for in diligence and determination.

“I don’t love that I had cancer. I don’t love that I lost my breasts. But I love my life, I love myself, and yes, I even love my new body. In short, I am flat and I am happy.”

From the introduction to Flat and Happy

Photo credit Tony Fross

My Books

Flat and Happy

This comprehensive guide gives women who are seeking an alternative to breast reconstruction the information and tools they need to make informed decisions and to advocate for themselves before and after mastectomy surgery.

Come November

This refreshingly original, contemporary YA debut centers on Rooney, a teen girl struggling to hold her family together in the face of her mother's delusions.

In the News

Youtube Video

Not Putting on a Shirt

Featuring advisors Dr. Camelia Lawrence, FACS and Wendy Meyers, MSW LCSW, hosted by Kim Bowles of Not Putting on a Shirt.

Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different

A candid conversation with Christopher Lochhead,  host of the #1 dialogue podcast, about  navigating the healthcare system and life after mastectomy


Plastic Surgery Practice

This podcast delves into the reasons van Dam decided to stay flat after her mastectomy.


Breast Friends of Oregon

Katrin van Dam will tell us her story about why she chose an Aesthetic Flat Closure.

Blog post

Susan G. Komen

To provide additional perspective, Susan G. Komen reached out to Katrin van Dam, author of the recently-published book, Flat and Happy.

Latest Posts from Flat Forum

Flat and… Nonbinary

Shortly after publishing “Flat and Happy” I was approached by a reader who had some suggestions for how to make it more inclusive. Jess, who is queer and identifies as nonbinary, rightly

Welcome to my Flat Forum!

When you write a book, you have to make so many decisions about what to include and what to cut. For “Flat and Happy,” I interviewed dozens of patients about their experiences,

I’d love to hear from you!