Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) Panelist on "Balancing the Personal and the Political"

Balancing the Personal and the Politicalmueller-sht-story
Thursday, March 6, 2014, 7 p.m.
Kripalu Center
Lenox, Mass

Panel Discussion with Carol Ascher, Laurie Lisle and Marnie Mueller
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Route 183, Lenox, 7 p.m.  Seating is limited, pre-registration required.  Please call 866-200-5203

Three feminist writers, each with different rich experiences and long-developed perspectives, will explore the potential challenges and conflicts of simultaneously “writing the self” and “righting the world.” Although the writers on this panel have spent years deeply concerned about environmental dangers to our planet as well as other burning political issues, we are predominantly writers of memoir and fiction. In our everyday lives we have taken strong activist positions, though when we sit down to write, our outrage at the world’s injustices more often than not serves as subtext in our work. The desire to right the world can be hidden in personal obsessions, or filtered through imaginary characters intentionally created to hold values quite different from our own. This session will explore the daily decisions we face as writers about whether it is enough that our self-expression, in its honesty and sensitivity, indirectly shows our concerns and commitments, or whether our words and narrative arcs must be more explicit and direct.

Marnie Mueller is the author of three novels: Green Fires: A Novel of the Ecuadorian Rainforest, which deals with the first incursions of oil companies into the region; The Climate of the Country, set in the Japanese American Internment Camp where she was born; and My Mother’s Island, set in Puerto Rico. She’s currently writing a non-fiction book about a Japanese American showgirl who was interned during WWII.

Carol Ascher has published six books, including a novel, The Flood; a memoir, Afterimages; and a biography, Simone deBeauvoir: A Life of Freedom. Her stories and personal essays have appeared widely in newspapers, literary magazines and feminist journals. She recently completed a new novel, Spooner Street, and has begun working on a book about the legacy of Vietnam.

Laurie Lisle is the author of five books, including biographies of the artists Georgia O’Keeffe and Louise Nevelson, as well as a memoir written from the point of view of a gardener, Four Tenths of an Acre: Reflections on a Gardening Life. She is at work on a longer memoir based on journals she has kept since a few weeks before President Kennedy’s assassination.

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