Frieda’s Song, a novel, is inspired by renowned psychiatrist Frieda Fromm-Reichmann. Fleeing Nazi Germany in 1935, she came to the Chestnut Lodge Sanatorium in Rockville, Maryland. Frieda worked there for the rest of her life, establishing the Lodge’s reputation for innovative treatment of mental illness, dying in her custom-built cottage on the grounds under mysterious circumstances in 1957. Decades later, psychotherapist Eliza Kline and her teenage son Nick live in Frieda’s Cottage, next door to the closed and abandoned hospital. As told by Frieda, Eliza, and Nick, the novel explores the tension between love and work, the strength and limits of relationship, and what healers must do to heal themselves. Frieda’s Song is a tale of the way history and chance, and the work and people we love, shape our lives-and how the past is always present, haunting us.
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Ellen Prentiss Campbell’s fiction explores the way history and chance, work and the people we love, shape lives. Her debut novel The Bowl With The Gold Seams received the National Indie Excellence Award for Historical Fiction. Campbell’s collection of stories Contents Under Pressure was nominated for the National Book Award. Her second collection Known By Heart appeared in 2020. Her short fiction has been recognized by The Pushcart Press. Campbell is a reviewer and columnist for The Washington Independent Review of Books and a contributing editor at The Fiction Writers Review. She practiced psychotherapy for many years in Rockville and lived with her husband and family near the Lodge.
Prentiss Campbell will be in conversation with Carrie Callaghan, the author of the historical novels A Light of Her Own and Salt The Snow. Her short stories have been published in multiple literary journals, and she is a senior editor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She lives in Maryland with her family and three ridiculous cats.
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