Literary Escape at Canyon Ranch 2021

Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the serene desert landscape, through the lenses of literature and writing we will honor what Covid has taken from us while examining what we have learned from this unexpected teacher.

With the intention of moving away from isolation, desolation and distancing, we will rediscover life’s abundance while reconnecting to ourselves and each other. Through hiking and yoga we will reawaken our bodies; through journaling and meditation we will nourish spirit and psyche; through meaningful, guided conversations, we will reflect on what we’ve collectively survived.

Joining us will be bestselling authors Elizabeth Rosner and Lisa See. Liz is returning to our Literary Escape experience to share her most recent book Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory. Her book, addressing those that have survived great tragedy and their descendants, helps us shape our collective responsibility and learn from tragedy, while keeping the ever-changing conversations alive between past and present. Liz will share her work with us and help us address our own tragedies and heal through writing workshops.

Lisa is also graciously returning to our Literary Escape experience and will discuss her body of work, starting with her book club favorite, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and ending with her most recent novel The Island of Sea Women. All of Lisa’s novels represent the importance of female relationships, the role of women in the survival of families and societies, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Elizabeth Rosner, author of Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory

Elizabeth Rosner is a bestselling novelist, poet, and essayist living in Berkeley, California. Her stunning book of nonfiction, Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory, was chosen as a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in Contemporary Jewish Life & Practice. Interviews with Ms. Rosner have been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and in The New York Times. Her most recent novel, Electric City, was named one of the best books of 2014 by National Public Radio. Her highly praised autobiographical poetry collection, Gravity, was published by Atelier26 Books in Fall 2014. The Speed of Light, her debut novel of 2001, was translated into nine languages, and won several literary prizes in both the US and Europe, including the Harold U. Ribalow Prize, the Prix France Bleu Gironde, and the Great Lakes Colleges Award in Fiction. It was short-listed for the prestigious Prix Femina in 2002, and picked as the “One City One Book” choice of Peoria, IL that same year. Blue Nude, her second novel, was named among the best books of 2006 by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Rosner’s essays have appeared in the NY Times Magazine, Elle, Hadassah Magazine, the Huffington Post, and numerous anthologies. She frequently writes book reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle. Having taught writing for over 30 years, she travels widely to lead intensive writing workshops, to lecture on contemporary literature, and to visit with book groups.

Lisa See, author of The Island of Sea Women

Lisa See’s new novel, The Island of Sea Women, is about the free-diving women of South Korea’s Jeju Island. Booklist called The Island of Sea Women “stupendous… enthralling…and engrossing.” Jodi Picoult has given her praise: “Lisa See excels at mining the intersection of family, friendship and history, and in her newest novel, she reaches new depths exploring the matrifocal haenyeo society in Korea, caught between tradition and modernization. This novel spans wars and generations, but at its heart is a beautifully rendered story of two women whose individual choices become inextricably tangled.” Independent booksellers honored the novel by selecting it as an Indie Next pick, while Barnes & Noble chose the novel for its nationwide March 2019 Book Club. It became an Instant New York Times bestseller.

Ms. See is the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, China Dolls, and Dreams of Joy, which debuted at #1. She is also the author of On Gold Mountain, which tells the story of her Chinese American family’s settlement in Los Angeles. Ms. See has also written a mystery series that takes place in China. Her books have been published in 39 languages. See was the recipient of the Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Association of Southern California and the History Maker’s Award from the Chinese American Museum. She was also named National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women.

Ms. See wrote the libretto for Los Angeles Opera based on On Gold Mountain, which premiered in June 2000. That same year, she also curated the exhibition On Gold Mountain: A Chinese American Experience at the Autry Museum. Ms. See then helped develop and curate the Family Discovery Gallery at the Autry Museum, an interactive space for children and their families that focused on Lisa’s bi-racial, bi-cultural family. The installation was up for twelve years. In 2003, she curated the inaugural exhibition — a retrospective of artist Tyrus Wong — for the grand opening of the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles. In addition, she designed a walking tour of L.A.’s Chinatown and wrote the companion guidebook for Angels Walk L.A. to celebrate the opening of the MTA’s Chinatown station. As a longtime trustee on the University of California Press Foundation, she endowed the Lisa See Endowment Fund in Southern California History and Culture.

​For anyone seeking a focused conversation on specific ways to move their writing forward, we are inviting you to participate in a three-part series; two parts online and one part in-person. With the intention of moving your writing to the next stage, we will hold two online gatherings and a one-on-one consult with author Elizabeth Rosner. The online sessions will be held in September (exact dates TBD) and will be led by Regina Tingle. They are an opportunity to generate new material, meet other writers who’ll be present on the retreat, as well as a place to share your work in a safe space and listen to others read theirs.

One week prior to the start of the retreat, participants are invited to submit a piece of writing – an excerpt from a book-in-progress or a self-contained piece (maximum length 2000 words or 8 double-spaced pages). Elizabeth will read your work and discuss it with you in a one-on-one session scheduled during our weekend together.

All levels welcome. Maximum of 8 spaces available. Cost: $450

With you throughout your journey will be your experienced guides Julie Robinson, founder of Literary Affairs, and Regina Tingle founder of Duende Retreats. Regina and Julie felt an instant kinship when they themselves met on a writing retreat in Italy. For years Julie has been taking readers on unique Literary Escapes around the globe and Regina has been doing the same for writers. After a year of isolation – Julie in LA and Regina in the UK – they decided to blend together the intertwined experiences of being both a reader of others stories and the writer of one’s own.  

Together, in a spirit of community, we will find our way toward joy again.


Julie Robinson, CEO/Founder of Literary Affairs

Julie Robinson is, above all, a lover of literature. As the founder of and creative force behind Literary Affairs, Julie’s passion has influenced thousands of readers across Los Angeles. Through her company’s work facilitating over 50 monthly book clubs all over the city, and via an ongoing series of high caliber cultural and educational experiences, author events and interviews, Julie’s specialty has been taking her clients “beyond the book.” Now, two decades into this dream career, Julie has also taken Literary Affairs to a new level. Her humble, one-woman operation is now a successful, women-run and operated business with a social justice bent. Her team of highly qualified women brings book clubs into even more homes, and she produces “Beyond the Book,” a monthly podcast of in-depth interviews with acclaimed and best-selling authors. To inspire a new generation of readers and writers, Julie created a nonprofit, the Literary Affairs Medici Foundation. The organization partners with The National Book Foundation to offer BookUp, an after-school reading program for middle school kids in South Central LA. It also presents an annual $5000 Medici Book Club Prize for the Best Book Club Book of the year, recognizing the role literature plays in creating empathy. The award is part of her prestigious yearly writers festival, The Beverly Hills Literary Escape. Julie serves on the advisory board of The Council of the Library Foundation. Her most recent passion has been to use her platform to raise awareness for another cause that’s incredibly close to her: mental health awareness. She amplifies the voices of authors writing on the subject, and hosts events that allow both authors and community members to discuss the stigma of mental health issues.

Regina Tingle, CEO/Founder of Duende Retreats

Regina has spent the last twenty years curating transformational experiences. She has led thousands of American students on their experiences abroad around Italy, Australia and the UK. In 2014, she co-founded Wide Open Writing and in 2018, she founded Duende Retreats. She’s held retreats in the darkness of January in the Arctic Circle, on far-flung islands in Mexico and the Mediterranean, in a lush riad in Morocco and a family run farmhouse in Tuscany. Her retreats have been featured in Yoga Magazine, The Write Life, Writing Magazine and Project Calm Magazine. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and has taught creative writing for the last decade. One of her students just won the ‘short’ prize at Sundance and has been nominated for a BAFTA. Her writing can be found on ScaryMommy, HelloGiggles, ManifestStation and The Writer in the World.

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