Kiara Brinkman (born November 29, 1979) is an American writer born in Omaha, Nebraska now living in San Francisco, California. Her 2007 novel, Up High in the Trees, was published by Grove Press and was widely reviewed. Brinkman has also authored several short stories. Her work has appeared in One Story, Pinelboyz, Failbetter and elsewhere. Her contribution to McSweeney’s, "Counting Underwater," was named one of the 100 Other Distinguished Stories of 2005 in The Best American Short Stories 2006.
Upon its release in 2007, Up High in the Trees earned positive reviews in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune (where it was named one of the newspaper’s "Favorite Books of 2007"). Writing in the New York Times, novelist Madison Smartt Bell noted, "Like Faulkner’s Benjy from The Sound and the Fury, Sebastian is most unusual for the lyrical intensity of his inner life, and the strongest impression this fine debut leaves is his nicely achieved voice, which is moving without being precious. The book also received praised from writers Cristina Garcia, Maud Casey, and Dave Eggers. Up High in the Trees was released in softcover in the summer of 2008.
Brinkman is currently employed at the Booksmith, an independent bookstore in San Francisco.