6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Presentation and Q&A
Free event! Light refreshments included.
1242 N. Central Ave – Phoenix, AZ 85004
Explore the life of renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Edith Wharton. Dr. Rivers-Norton will discuss excerpts from “Edith Wharton: When Words First Spoke,” the fourth chapter of her latest book The Demeter-Persephone Myth as Writing Ritual in the Lives of Literary Women. The talk will focus on the novelist Edith Wharton, who experiences loss, illness and confusion as a child and is mystified by the aloofness of her mother. Consequently, she feels insecure and inferior. Although destined to be a writer, Wharton is profoundly shaped by family discord and a war-torn world, and often courts humiliation and consequent exile by voicing what others in her family do not want to acknowledge. Despite these restrictions, Wharton continuously recasts painful experience as fodder for the imagination to forge a lasting literary career.
Dr. Jana Rivers Norton is a fulltime faculty of English at Cochise College, Santa Cruz Center, Nogales, Arizona. She holds a Master’s in English and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She has been a college instructor for more than 25 years and has taught courses in Creative Writing, Mythology, Trauma and Gender Studies, Life Study Narratives, and the Psychology of Creativity at several institutions including Humboldt State University and the University of New Mexico, Gallup. Her research focuses on creativity as an agent of change, mythos, trauma and abuse, gender, society and the literary landscape. Her peer reviewed articles are found in journals such as ReVision: A Journal of Consciousness and Transformation, The International Journal of the Humanities and The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability. Her first book Taming Trauma’s Wake was published in 2009. Her latest book, The Demeter-Persephone Myth as Writing Ritual in the Lives of Literary Women, contextualizes traumatic experiences of early loss and mourning to appreciate more fully, how writing as ritual yielded a deeper understanding of the impact of childhood trauma and adversity on four eminent writers, and how their literary responses not only helped transform mental and emotional debility but shaped modern culture. She is currently working on a third book which focuses on the classical myth of Medea and the violent expression of grief when a mother’s sense of “righteous rage” remains hidden or unresolved.