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Healing Lily: A novel of hope
More About Healing Lily

D. Stephenson Bond is a practicing Jungian analyst who has lectured widely on the topics of myth and creativity. He graduated with an M.Div. from Vanderbilt in 1981 and from the C. G. Jung Institute, Boston, in 1997, where he teaches. A native West Virginian, he is the author of four books, including Living Myth: Personal Meaning As a Way of Life (Shambhala, 2001) and The Archetype of Renewal (Inner City, 2003). Fiction is his lifelong passion, with short stories including "The Mountain Song" appearing in The Mountain Review and "An Evening at the Symphony" in Scribner. Healing Lily is his debut novel.

In a recent interview he noted: "I think I was looking for a way to understand the deeper images and experiences of my own life and I didn't find that until I found Carl Jung," he said in a recent interview. "I still interpret dreams for a living, in a way, and people remain curious about dreams and the inner life, but all of that seems a long time ago now. Something has changed. I feel it, other people feel it. It's in the air, as Jung used to say. So you have to write about that now, if you're an artist feeling your way through the life of our times as well as your own life. The artist voices the changes in the collective unconscious. That's the Jungian view. And I try to do that, or rather that's what seems to be happening when I sit down to write whether I want to or not. It appears as something dark, this change of the times, and yet I suppose creative destruction always feels like that. Perhaps it is only the way the night feels to us in some instinctual way, and when the morning finally arrives we re-orient ourselves and start again."

"I didn't mean to write a novel about psychoanalysis," he continued. "I've been writing novels since I was twelve years old, my first love, and somehow the first published novel has a lot of psychoanalysis in it. Oh well. I got interested in the 9/11 widows in the months after 9/11. I think I saw Kristen Breitweiser on Larry King Live and then read the Gail Sheehey article on the Jersey Girls. What fascinated me so much was that in the months and years after 9/11 those widows represented a kind of moral authority on what had happened, a moral authority that was lacking in, well, everything else. Then my analytic mind got to thinking about them and I wondered how a person would work through an experience like that. And the result was Healing Lily, my first published novel. It's about how people work through grief, but with the edge of 9/11 I think it's also about the change, the cultural change and the end of an era that 9/11 represents, as if it were a collective dream announcing what is coming. But it turned into a love story-quirky, you would say, because an analyst knows too much to be naive about love stories-because when you're a writer the characters take over and go to new places. And that was fine with me. We're gonna need a lot of love to get through this."

Author D. Stephenson Bond discusses the impact of 9/11 and his hopes for the novel with journalist Ed Medina.




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