On the 34th Anniversary of Elvis’ Death, Is There Anything New to Say About The King?
The answer is Yes! For everyone disillusioned by Elvis Presley’s tragic end, “My Summer With Elvis: Spiritual Teachings From the King” is positively healing. This fresh little book is an unexpected memoir with an uplifting twist for fans, skeptics and Cultural Creatives alike.
Madison, Wisconsin (PRWEB) August 16, 2011
Is there any new way to understand and honor Elvis Presley and his paradoxical life? Probably not””unless the reader stumbles upon an unexpected little book, “My Summer With Elvis: Spiritual Teachings From the King,” released on Amazon this summer. The unlikely author is a Madison, Wisconsin-based therapist, former radio talk show host and one-time fourth grade teacher named Willow Harth. Yes, that’s her real name.
Sometimes referring to herself as the blue-eyed Navajo, Harth brings to her writing the cultural curiosity of her grandfather, who was the first interim director of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in NYC, and an uncanny knack for sacred story-telling, an ability she cultivated during the years she lived on a Navajo reservation as a child.
Given her impossible-to-pigeon-hole life experience, it is, perhaps, not surprising that Harth’s lyrical book is, according to early reviews, just as Harth herself”¦.utterly fresh, shockingly original in language and perspective, and positively healing.
“My Summer With Elvis” begins on a sultry Sunday early in June, when Willow has a full-blown Elvis sighting in a Quaker Meeting House. Despite her resistance (she never liked Elvis and who has visions in the 21st century?), in his ecstatic embrace the earth moves and the heavens speak. Elvis seems an unlikely spiritual teacher, but when he reaches out his hand to her, she reaches back. Dancing with Elvis in their nightly trysts, she finds a rapture that permeates each waking moment. Even when the sleazy details of Elvis’ life gradually overwhelm her delight, love ripens into compassion. Through Elvis, she discovers a spiritual path where body and soul meet and greet and the love that love’s one’s neighbor as oneself. “Elvis,” she writes, “puts Saturday night celebration and Sunday morning prayer in the same time zone.”
As a therapist, Harth uses her unlikely romance””she’s nearly 50 and he’s dead–to understand love in all its guises, from sex to compassion. Leonard Bernstein called Elvis “the most important cultural force in the 20th century. He brought the beat to everything.” Harth retells Elvis with a vision that unpacks Bernstein’s startling observation and makes him relevant across the generations. One young teacher in the New York City school system says: “As a 24-year-old woman, I found that Harth’s spiritual and philosophical message cuts to the core of what is missing from most discussions of spirituality. Her book is a long-awaited anthem to body, and (a reminder of) the gifts women have brought to patriarchal religions from Christianity to Buddhism.” At the other end of the spectrum, this from a gentleman of 66 and private equity investor: “Through Elvis, Willow Harth tells a much bigger cultural story.”
As a piece of literature, a Scribner’s editor called My Summer With Elvis “Wholly original, almost magical.”
Elvis fans and Cultural Creative’s alike can find out more about the larger context for this book on WPR radio this Tuesday, Aug 16th, 2011 on Here on Earth with Jean Feraca. Podcasts are archived for later listening. http://wpr.org/hereonearth/archive_110816k.cfm
The author is available for interviews at: wwwillow(dot)harth(at)gmail(dot)com.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebElvisPresley/MySummerWithElvis/prweb8720417.htm