Columbus: Deborah Blum on Margaret Mead
Join us Wednesday, September 6th at 7pm for a reading and discussion of Coming of Age: The Sexual Awakening of Margaret Mead with the author, Deborah Blum, and professor Kenneth Friedman.
Coming of Age focuses on five years in Mead's young life when she began to question the traditional attitudes toward sex, courtship and marriage that dominated the early 20th century.
The story begins in 1921, when Mead is a young woman of twenty and a student at Barnard College in New York City. Conventional enough to accept the role society has handed to her, and defiant enough to rise up against it, she struggles to find her own path. Life begins to change as she experiences new friendships and many firsts, including marriage and an affair.
In 1925, following her interest in anthropology, Mead takes a step that shocks both family and colleagues. She decides to go alone to Samoa to study how girls in this very different culture mature into women. There on a tiny island in the South Pacific, with an ocean between her and the people she loves, she begins to understand how the invisible chains of society can imprison one's body and mind.
Mead's voyage of self-discovery is both painful, exciting and enlightening. She returns from her fieldwork ready to do something no woman before her has dared to do: write with frankness and clarity about the sexual awakening of young girls. And America, it turns out, is ready to hear what she has to say.
Drawing on letters, diaries and memoirs, Blum reconstructs the colorful and dramatic life of one of the most provocative thinkers of the 20th century.
Deborah Beatriz Blum’s interest in other cultures and far-away lands began when she traveled the world as a writer on the television series In Search Of…. Her first book, Bad Karma: A True Story of Obsession and Murder, took her on an extended journey through India. Since then she has produced the feature film Clean and Sober and written and directed documentaries for National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. Her latest book, Coming of Age: The Sexual Awakening of Margaret Mead was released July 11 from Thomas Dunne Books.
Professor Kenneth Friedman, born in New York, is a graduate of the NYU School of Film. As a student he wrote and directed Showdown, winner of the National Student Film Festival. Professor Friedman has written numerous movies including White Line Fever (Jan Michael Vincent, Kay Lenz), Heart Like a Wheel (Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges), Johnny Handsome (Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Forrest Whitaker and Morgan Freeman) and Cadillac Man (Robin Williams, Tim Robbins). Professor Friedman often works as a rewriter, including the films The Fugitive, Unlawful Entry, Bad Girls and The Getaway. In television, he wrote and was Co-executive Producer of the six hour limited series, The Grid (Julianna Margulies, Dylan McDermott). Professor Friedman also directed and wrote the feature Made in USA (Chris Penn, Lori Singer, Adrian Pasdar), which premiered at the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes and was featured at many film festivals including Sundance and Munich.