ROCKLAND — Maine author Elizabeth Garber will present a talk about her book Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect's Daughter, Tuesday, June 11, at 6:30 p.m., in the Rockland Public Library's Community Room.
Elizabeth Garber’s father, visionary architect Woodie Garber, had already built his masterwork — the family’s glass-walled house — when he received the commission to create Sanders Hall, a glass tower dormitory at The University of Cincinnati.
At the time, Elizabeth was still impressed with her brilliant father and his taste for modernism, jazz, art, and race cars. But as she grew up, her adoration faded. Woodie became more controlling, belittling and inappropriate.
As the late 1960s and early 1970s culture wars and race riots reached Cincinnati, and when Elizabeth started dating an African-American student at her high school, Woodie’s racism emerged. He became more volatile.
His abuse splintered the family, and unexpected problems with the design of Sanders Hall precipitated a financial crisis that was exacerbated by a sinking economy. In the end, not only was the family torn apart, but so was Sanders Hall, which the university razed only twenty years later.
In this powerful memoir, Elizabeth Garber describes Woodie’s deepening mental illness, the destruction of her family, and her own slow healing from his abuse.
“Beautifully written and heartbreaking, Garber's memoir is also a survivor's story — about a young woman trying to rescue her family and herself,” said Rockland Public Library, in a news release. “Now a mother and a healer, Garber’s story offers the hope that we can process trauma and move on, that we can each become the architects of our own lives.”
Elizabeth W. Garber is the author of three books of poetry, True Affections: Poems from a Small Town (2012), Listening Inside the Dance (2005), and Pierced by the Seasons (2004). Three of her poems have been read on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac, and her poem Feasting was included in his Good Poems for Hard Times.
She was awarded writing fellowships at Virginia Center for Creative Arts and Jentel Artist Residency Program in Wyoming.
Garber studied Greek Epic in the Mythology and Folklore Department at Harvard, received a BA from Johns Hopkins, a MFA in creative non-fiction from University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Masters Program, and a Masters in Acupuncture from the Traditional Acupuncture Institute.
She has maintained a private practice as an acupuncturist for more than thirty years in Midcoast Maine, where she raised her family.
Visit her at www.elizabethgarber.com.
The event, sponsored by Friends of Rockland Public Library, is free and open to the public.
The Library is located at 80 Union Street.