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VIRTUAL - Adoption Memoirs: Inside Stories with Marianne Novy

Monday, September 9, 2024
8:00 pm9:00 pm
Online Discussion

Marianne will discuss her book Adoption Memoirs: Inside Stories (Temple University Press, 2024), which discusses 45 published books and two memoir-like films, by birth mothers, adoptees, and adoptive parents, about adoptions including same-race and transracial, domestic and international, with the largest number written in the 21st century. These memoirs depict happy moments but also the lasting pain of relinquishment, the racism and trauma that some adoptees experienced, and unexpected complexities of adoptive child-rearing for which parents were insufficiently prepared. A few adoptions portrayed were open from the start; most of the memoirs by adoptees and birth mothers and some by adoptive parents recount searches and the development of relationships after reunion.

About Marianne
Marianne Novy was born in Cleveland’s Florence Crittenton Home, met her birthmother in her early 30s, and maintained the relationship. She received her Ph.D. in Engllish from Yale. While she taught English and American literature as a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, she grew increasingly interested in how adoption has been portrayed in novels and plays. She co-founded and for some years co-chaired the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture, which now has a journal and a conference every other year, and wrote Reading Adoption: Family and Difference in Fiction and Drama, published in 2005 by the University of Michigan Press. She has authored four other books, all dealing with Shakespeare, and edited four, three about women’s literary and theatrical responses to his work. The fourth, Imagining Adoption: Essays on Literature and Culture, received the Choice award as an outstanding academic title of 2001. In Adoption Memoirs: Inside Stories, published in June 2024, she focuses on how people personally involved with adoption write about their experiences.