When History Is Personal contains the stories of twenty-five moments in Mimi Schwartz’s life, each heightened by its connection to historical, political, and social issues. We invite you to a presentation by the author and a discussion with fellow scholar and writer, Sondra Perl.
These essays look both inward and outward so that the individualized tales tell a larger story—of assimilation, the women’s movement, racism, anti-Semitism, end-of-life issues, ethics in writing, digital and corporate challenges, and courtroom justice. A shrewd and discerning storyteller, Schwartz captures history from her vantage as a child of German-Jewish immigrants, a wife of over fifty years, a breast cancer survivor, a working mother, a traveler, a tennis player, a daughter, and a widow. In adding her personal story to the larger narrative of history, culture, and politics, Schwartz invites readers to consider her personal take alongside “official” histories and offers readers fresh assessments of our collective past.
Mimi Schwartz is a professor emeritus of English at Richard Stockton University. She is the award-winning author of Good Neighbors, Bad Times: Echoes of My Father’s German Village, and is co-author of Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Non-Fiction. Her essays have been widely anthologized and several have been notables in the Best American Series, including four in When History is Personal. Sondra Perl is Professor Emerita of English at C.U.N.Y and the author of, among others, Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction and of On Austrian Soil: Breaking the Cycle of Hat: A Teaching Memoir.
“Perfect-pitch, impeccable observation, penetrating insight…” Robert Atwan, series editor of Best American Essays