Linda Morganstein

Creative Nonfiction Writer, Fiction Writer

Author's Bio

I’m a writer, of both prose and poetry, who also happens to be the product of a Borscht Belt childhood in the Jewish hotels of the Catskills. I grew up in a culture of oral storytelling, surrounded by entertainers like my aunt Kyra, who rivaled Homer in her ability to turn an incident into an epic narrative of life and death. She didn’t need to pause for breath. Like a goddess, she breathed inspiration instead of air.
All around me were people who lived to turn any experience into a story. People who loved to share a joke, giving old clunkers new life with their unique spins. “Parental guidance advised” had absolutely no relevance. X-rated stories and jokes were part of life. Like many artists, I felt like an alien child who had somehow landed in this raucous world of shouting adults. I took refuge in reading books and making things.
A few years ago, I had a startling epiphany. I’d always dabbled in visual arts, although I’d chosen to concentrate on the written word. I wanted to do something entirely new. I decided to create a project that combined visual elements with poetry and prose in a narrative that was both text and pictorial. Not illustrated poetry or artwork with words in it, but a piece that was memoir, cultural history, spirituality, and philosophy, one in which the text and imagery were interdependent and both necessary to the whole.
The result is Numinosity: My Life and Our Times, an illustrated book modeled on the iconic Life magazine, consisting of six chapters. Each chapter is an issue of an invented photo journal called Numinosity. The content is based on events of the times and my family history—fictionalized memoir, if you will. Unlike typical magazines, the six issues of Numinosity weave a single story. Each issue features articles from the perspective of iconic personalities—and I play all of them. In addition, I created all the advertisements for imaginary products, making fun of consumerism with fond ambivalence. Like the artist Cindy Sherman, I use my insecurities and swagger to make a larger point about the relationship of humor and tragedy in art.

Publications & Prizes

My Life With Stella Kane (Regal Crest Enterprises, 2009)
Ordinary Furies (Spinsters Ink, 2007)

More Information

Gives readings: 
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Born in: 
New York, NY
Raised in: 
Monticello, NY
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Last update: Oct 26, 2017