Lecture by Nellie Hermann, Creative Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University and Fellow with the Institute for Ideas and Imagination.
Nellie Hermann's current novel-in-progress, which she is working on at the Institute for Ideas & Imagination, is focused on the plight of the American unwed mother in the first half of the twentieth century. Her last novel, The Season of Migration, is a fictional exploration of the early life of Vincent van Gogh, set in Belgium in the late 19th century -- a very different subject, but also a book for which she needed to do extensive research. In this talk, she will speak about the research she has done so far for her current project, and about the experiences and the challenges that arise for a novelist as one attempts to turn historical research into a work of fiction.
This lecture is part of the "Wednesdays at the Institute" lecture series organized by the Institute for Ideas & Imagination.
Nellie Hermann has published two novels, The Cure for Grief (Scribner, 2008) and The Season of Migration (FSG, 2015), a New York Times Editor's Choice. Her non-fiction has appeared in an anthology about siblings, Freud’s Blindspot (Free Press: 2010), as well as in Academic Medicine. She is Creative Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, and over the last ten years she has taught fiction and narrative medicine to undergraduates, medical students, graduate students, and clinicians of all sorts, and has given conference addresses in Iowa, California, Seoul, Korea, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2016 NEA Literature fellowship and a 2017-18 Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library. At the Institute she will be working on a novel centered on the plight of the unwed mother in the first half of the 21st century.