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May 28

Miriam Toews in Conversation: Kindred Spirits: The Power of “Making Story”

May 28, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 pm

Psychoanalysis and the Arts:  

Transformative Processes in Culture

Freud observed that unconscious life has always found expression in art and literature. Emerging from unconscious ferment, the arts illuminate the rich facets of our humanity. They symbolize our inner world and give substance, shape, and form to the full range of shared human experience. As powerful forces of culture, they help to restore and liberate the human spirit in essential ways.

Please join us for a special program on Literature and Psychoanalysis to inaugurate the series.

Kindred Spirits: The Power of “Making Story”

MIRIAM TOEWS, author of All MY PUNY SORROWS, In Conversation

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue, Toronto

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CLICK HERE to download the event flyer. 

In her award-winning novel All My Puny Sorrows, Miriam Toews explores the complexity of a family coping with mental illness and suicide, loss, and grief.  While she acknowledges the autobiographical elements of the novel, rooted in her sister’s suicide, she also demonstrates the power of “making story” and its essential role in healing.  Psychoanalysis has long recognized narrative’s therapeutic power and its capacity to make sense of suffering and trauma.

MIRIAM TOEWS is a prolific and award-winning Canadian writer. She is the author of seven books, including A Complicated Kindness, which won the Governor General’s award for fiction, and All My Puny Sorrows, a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and winner of the Roger’s Writer’s Trust Fiction Prize in 2014. Toews wrote memoir about her father who committed suicide, in Swing Low: A life, which was awarded the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. She writes with stunning depth and remarkable humour about deeply personal matters that have universal relevance.


Miriam Toews, in conversation with Beth Goldstein, M.S.W, TICP graduate in private practice, and Dr. Elizabeth Harvey, PhD, Professor of English Literature at the University of Toronto, and senior candidate at the TICP explore these ideas through the lens of All My Puny Sorrows:

  1. the role and power of narrative from a psychoanalytic and relational perspective; the intersubjective nature of witnessing; the traumatic nature for primary others whose loved ones suffer from severe depression and the experience of suicide for surviving others; and narrative’s capacity to promote development and healing.
  2. the nature of the creative process; tone, humor, and affective nuance; writing as a way to process trauma and mourning and as a response to disillusionment;  the development of voice and character in language, and the contribution of literature to the healing of personal and cultural ills.
  3. The common elements that writing and psychoanalysis share; writing as wakeful dreaming and free association; “making story” as the articulation of psychic conflict and psychic pain by putting words to unformulated experience; the relational features that serve to reduce loneliness and isolation and foster connection, even between author and reader, in the aftermath of loss and trauma, all of which contribute to the therapeutic value for all participants.


8:15    Registration, Coffee and Continental Breakfast

9:00    Welcome and Introductions

9:10    Miriam Toews in conversation with Beth Goldstein and Dr. Elizabeth Harvey.

10:10 Dialogue with Audience

10:50 Final reflections and closing remarks

Registration information:  Space is limited

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TSCP Members/Guests, TICP candidates and Full-time students:   $50.00

Regular:  $60.00

At the door: $70.00

For more information email: info@ticp.on.ca


May 28, 2016
9:00 am - 11:00 pm
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Innis Town Hall Theatre
2 Sussex Ave
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1J5 Canada