Joyce Maynard appears at Monadnock Community Lyceum

  • Author Joyce Maynard speaks at the Monadnock Summer Lyceum Sunday, Aug. 7. —STAFF PHOTO BY JOSH LACAILLADE

  • Joyce Maynard reads a section of her recent book. “The Best of Us.” —STAFF PHOTO BY JOSH LACAILLADE

  • Community members applaud Joyce Maynard for her speech titled “The Story Only You Can Tell.” STAFF PHOTO BY JOSH LACAILLADE

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 8/8/2022 1:12:50 PM

The Monadnock Summer Lyceum hosted an award-winning author meant to educate the community on the importance of authentic storytelling.

On Sunday, August 7, author Joyce Maynard, 68, from Bennington delivered her speech “The Story Only You Can Tell,” a memoir about her life as professional writer. After dropping out from Yale University at the age of 18 in 1971 to pursue a relationship with J. D. Salinger, a prominent writer for the New York Times Magazine, Maynard stated the experience greatly influenced her writing and storytelling career.

Maynard later went on to spend the last five decades writing fiction and nonfiction novels, publishing a total of 18 books and memoirs such as “At Home in the World” and “To Die For.” In addition, one of Maynard’s most popular books titled “Labor Day” made it to the big screen in 2013 staring Kate Winslet, who was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her role as Adele in 2014. One of Maynard’s most recent books “The Best of Us” portrays themes of marriage and motherhood reimagined through her own life experiences as a widow and mother of three.

During her speech, Maynard stated she has spent years educating others about the importance of personal storytelling outside of her own writing.

“One of my passions in life is mentoring people who don’t know how to share their own story,” said Maynard.

After her husband passed away from cancer just after his 64th birthday in 2016, Maynard stated the most important truths come from the most challenging parts of life.

“As a writer, when hard experience takes place, that’s when we make art of it,” stated Maynard.

Maynard later readmitted to Yale University at the age of 65 to continue her undergraduate studies, but the COVID-19 pandemic put her education on hold. Since then, Maynard has been focused on educating people of all ages in the Monadnock region about the art of authentic storytelling.

In an interview following the speech, Maynard said educating others has been the most fulfilling part of her career.

“I think the biggest impact I make is in my teaching and helping people tell their story,” said Maynard.

Member of the Speaker Committee Eric Blackmer said he knew Maynard’s New Hampshire background and unique storytelling skills would be a great fit for the lyceum. 

“I think she was a very inspiring speaker,” said Blackmer. “People have stories to tell but don’t think they are good enough. [Mayner] demonstrated you can do it.”

Maggie Fogarty will present “Human Rights Denied When Immigrant Justice is Delayed” Sunday, Aug. 14, at 11 a.m. at Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church.

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