American Breakdown: A Conversation with Jennifer Lunden
September 28, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
This event will celebrate the publication of Lunden’s book, American Breakdown: Our Ailing Nation, My Body’s Revolt, and the Nineteenth-Century Woman Who Brought Me Back to Life (Harper Wave 2023), and will include a reading, facilitated conversation, and Q&A.
American Breakdown is a Silent Spring for the human body. This wide-ranging, genre-crossing literary mystery interweaves the author’s quest to understand the source of her own condition with her telling of the story of the chronically ill 19th-century diarist Alice James—ultimately uncovering the many hidden health hazards of life in America.
Co-Hosted by the University of New England’s Maine Women Writers Collection and School of Social Work.
Jennifer Lunden’s essays have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Orion, River Teeth, DIAGRAM, Longreads, and other journals; have been selected for Pushcart Prize XXXVII: Best of the Small Presses and several anthologies; and have been recognized as notable in Best American Essays. Lunden has been awarded grants from the Maine Arts Commission, the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the Canada Council for the Arts, and was the 2016 recipient of the Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholarship in Nonfiction. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and former therapist, she was named Maine’s Social Worker of the Year in 2012. She and her husband, the artist Frank Turek, live in a little house in Portland, Maine, where they keep several backyard chickens, two cats, a Great Dane, and some gloriously untamed gardens.