Joanne Greenberg

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Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 58

In addition to her collections of short fiction, Joanne Greenberg has written several novels. In 1979, her novel I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1964) was made into a Hollywood film. Greenberg has also been a regular contributor of articles, reviews, and short stories to many periodicals, including The Hudson Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Chatelaine, and Saturday Review.


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Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 183

The King’s Persons (1963), Joanne Greenberg’s novel about the York massacre, won the Jewish Book Council of America Award for Fiction in 1963. In This Sign (1970) is such a sensitive exploration of the world of the deaf that it is studied by those who deal with the hearing-impaired. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden was endorsed by Dr. Karl Menninger as a contribution toward the understanding of schizophrenia; in 1967 she was given the Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Award by the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, an honor seldom accorded to laypersons.

Greenberg also received the Harry and Ethel Daroff Memorial Fiction Award in 1963 and the William and Janice Epstein Fiction Award in 1964, both of them awarded to her by the National Jewish Welfare Board for her book The King’s Persons. In 1971, she won both the Marcus L. Kenner Award from the New York Association of the Deaf and the Christopher Book Award for In This Sign. She received the Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Memorial Award from Western Maryland College in 1977 and from Gallaudet College in 1979. In 1983, she was awarded the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute Award.


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Diamond, R. “The Archetype of Death and Renewal in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.Perspectives in Psychiatric Care 8 (January-March, 1975): 21-24. Diamond compares the journey and recovery from schizophrenia to the initiation ritual of shamans. A discussion of the myths of death and resurrection is highlighted. The incorporation of Carl Gustav Jung’s archetypes of the unconscious in connection with a search for self makes this article distinctive. Includes a bibliography.

Fromm-Reichmann, Frieda. “Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Discusses the ‘Rose Garden’ Case.” Psychiatry 45, no. 2 (1982): 128-136. A transcript of a lecture given by Fromm-Reichmann to the Ypsilanti Psychiatric Institute discussing the treatment of a young female adolescent. Greenberg, using the pseudonym of Hannah Green, wrote about a treatment plan she received. Fromm-Reichmann talks about the treatment plan she devised, the outcome, and the book that her patient wrote.

Greenberg, Joanne. “Go Where You’re Sent: An Interview with Joanne Greenberg.” Interview by K. L. Gibble. Christian Century 102 (November 20, 1985): 1063-1067. Greenberg discusses her motivation and writing techniques with Gibble. He induces her to reveal bits and pieces of her personal philosophy. Some valuable clues to her personality can be found in this interview.

Greenberg, Joanne. Interview by Susan Koppelman. Belles Lettres 8, no. 4 (Summer, 1993): 32. Greenberg discusses her work and when she became a writer. She says she began writing to express her unhappiness while living in New York City.

Greenberg, Joanne. “Joanne Greenberg.” Interview by Sybil S. Steinberg. Publishers Weekly 234 (September 23, 1988): 50-51. Notes that each of her novels and short-story collections deals with people challenged by a hostile or strange world. Greenberg asserts that she has stood by her publisher, Holt, throughout her writing career because the company gave her a chance when other publishers would not.

Wisse, Ruth. “Rediscovering Judaism.” Review of A Season of Delight, by Joanne Greenberg. Commentary 73 (May, 1982): 84-87. This review is set in the context of Jewish life in the United States. The author compares the heroine’s struggle with issues of faith to a reawakening of spiritual values that can be found in modern society as a whole and the Jewish community in particular.

Wolfe, K. K., and G. K. Wolfe. “Metaphors of Madness: Popular Psychological Narratives.” Journal of Popular Culture 10 (Spring, 1976): 895-907. An eloquent discussion of an emerging genre using I Never Promised You a Rose Garden as an example. This genre, psychological in nature, has a recognizable structure and imagery. The authors turn a spotlight on the implications that many of the protagonists of this type of novel, or autobiography, are women using the metaphor of a journey. Includes notes and a bibliography.

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