Discourse & Process is a new online companion series to our 2020 Summer Lectures (which is postponed until further notice). Moderated by Julie Scelfo, past Lecture Series presenter and author of The Women Who Made New York, this series will give the authors an opportunity to discuss elements of the writing and research process.
This online program will be streamed live via Zoom.
Katharine Smyth was a student at Oxford when she first read Virginia Woolf’s modernist masterpiece To the Lighthouse in the comfort of an English sitting room, and in the companionable silence she shared with her father. After his death—a calamity that claimed her favorite person—she returned to that beloved novel as a way of wrestling with his memory and understanding her own grief.
Smyth’s story moves between the New England of her childhood and Woolf’s Cornish shores and Bloomsbury squares, exploring universal questions about family, loss, and homecoming. Through her inventive, highly personal reading of To the Lighthouse, and her artful adaptation of its groundbreaking structure, Smyth guides us toward a new vision of Woolf’s most demanding and rewarding novel—and crafts an elegant reminder of literature’s ability to clarify and console. Braiding memoir, literary criticism, and biography, All the Lives We Ever Lived is a wholly original debut: a love letter from a daughter to her father, and from a reader to her most cherished author.
“Katharine Smyth pulls off a tricky double homage in her beautifully written first book, a deft blend of memoir, biography, and literary criticism that’s a gift to readers drawn to big questions about time, memory, mortality, love and grief.” – Wall Street Journal
Katharine Smyth is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating magna cum laude from Brown University, she worked as an editorial assistant and researcher at The Paris Review and Radar Magazine. In 2007, she began teaching at Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Elle, The Paris Review, Literary Hub, The Point, DuJour, Poets & Writers, and Domino, among other publications. In 2014, her essay “Prey” was selected as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2014. Her first book, All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf, was published by Crown in January 2019. It was named one of Town & Country’s Best Books of 2019.
Julie Scelfo is a journalist, author and justice advocate who helps people discover the forces that help shape human thinking. Previously, Scelfo was a staff writer for The New York Times, and a Correspondent at Newsweek where she covered breaking news. Scelfo is the author of The Women Who Made New York, a collection of intersectional biographies that reveal how it was women — and not just men — who built one of the world’s greatest cities.
Scelfo earned a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a Master’s degree in Media Ecology from New York University. She lives in New York City, is a frequent public speaker and has made numerous appearances on television, radio and podcasts.
You can purchase books online here to support our authors.
Discourse & Process Chats Schedule
June 8 – Eve Kahn, author of Forever Seeing New Beauties: The Forgotten Impressionist Mary Rogers Williams
June 15 – Katherine Smyth, author of All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf
June 22 – Donna Rifkind, author of The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood
June 29 – Jenn Shapland, author of My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir
July 6 – Kerri Greenidge, author of Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter
July 13 – Kimberly Hamlin, author of Free Thinker: Sex, Suffrage, and the Extraordinary Life of Helen Hamilton Gardener
July 20 – Michael Gorra author of The Saddest Words: William Faulkner’s Civil War
July 27 – Nick Basbanes, author of Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.