Joanna Greenberg is perhaps best known for her best-selling novel, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, a semi-autobiographical account of a teenage girl’s three-year struggle with madness. The book was made into an Oscar nominated movie in 1977.
Greenberg is also the successful author of numerous novels and short story collections, many published under the pseudonym Hanna Green.
While working as a vocational rehabilitation counselor with a caseload of deaf clients, Greenberg became interested in communicating with the deaf. That interest led her to assist in setting up mental health programs for the deaf in various hospitals throughout the country and to her novel In This Sign. The novel, called “a miracle of empathy” by The New York Times, focuses on a deaf couple’s lifelong struggle to survive in a hearing world.
Many of Greenberg’s works deal with the troubles people with disabilities, physical and mental, must face. She also has a pointed interest in Native American cultures.
Greenberg will present “A Griffin, A Letter, A Trombone and a Pair of Shoes” on Wednesday, July 12 at the Wilkinson Public Library. Her performance of storytelling and magic is suited for the whole family and will include a harpsichord interlude. The program starts at 7 p.m. with a suggested $5 donation.
On Thursday, July 13, Greenberg presents the storytelling workshop “Whose Story Is It?” The workshop will focus on the decisions fiction writers face when deciding what makes a great story. Aspiring and established writers will have their creative energy sparked and storytelling skills honed by writing and conversing with Greenberg, considered one of the best storytellers in the state. The workshop is ideal for anyone who enjoys stories, memoirs, narrative poetry, fiction or just a good time. The workshop is $40 and will be held in the Telluride Historical Museum’s Weatherford Room, 6-9 p.m.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1932, Greenberg received her B.A. in anthropology and English from the American University, Washington, D.C. and went on to study at the University of London and the University of Colorado. She currently teaches cultural anthropology and fiction writing at the Colorado School of Mines.
Greenberg has been named Colorado Author of the Year, was awarded the Denver Women’s Institute Award, the Kenner Award, the Fromm Reichmann Award, the Christopher Award and the Harry and Ethel Daroff Memorial Award for Fiction, as well as the Jewish Book Council of America award.
Greenberg was named the Faculty Senate’s Distinguished Lecturer in 1996 and received the Mines Medal for exemplary service in 1999 from the Colorado School of Mines.
She and her husband Albert live in a mountaintop home near Lookout Mountain, and have two grown sons.
For more information on Greenberg’s performance or to register for the workshop, contact Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer at 728-0399.