Columbia U. director, author opens Humanities Center spring series

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News
Photo of author Nellie Hermann.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A well-known author and program director at Columbia University will open the spring portion of the University Center for the Humanities' Healing Arts Speaker Series at Western Michigan University.

This event has been canceled due to illness and may be rescheduled for a later date. Visit the University Center for the Humanities online for more information.

Nellie Hermann, creative director of the Columbia University Narrative Medicine program and author of the novel "The Cure for Grief," will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. Her presentation is free and open to the public and titled "Creative Writing and the Capacity for Empathy." Hermann will talk about the use of creative writing and narrative to enhance our capacity for understanding and empathy in the clinical encounter.

Nellie Hermann

Hermann is a graduate of Brown University and the Master of Fine Arts program at Columbia. "The Cure for Grief," her first novel, was published in 2008 and received national acclaim in such publications as Time, Elle, The Washington Post and the Boston Globe. It was chosen as a Target "Breakout" book. It tells the story of Ruby, a 10-year-old girl who encounters a startling series of tragedies that befall her family and leave her reeling from sorrow and disbelief.

Hermann also is the author of several award-winning short stories, while her non-fiction appeared in an anthology about siblings as well as in the peer-reviewed monthly journal Academic Medicine. Over the last eight 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, South Korea; and elsewhere. Her second novel, "The Season of Migration," is about the early life of Vincent van Gogh and will be released in February.

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