Norma Watkins

marlene lopez

Norma Watkins has a Ph.D. in English from Union Graduate School and an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida International University. She is Professor Emerita at Miami Dade College where she held an endowed chair. She teaches Creative Writing for Mendocino Watkins’ award-winning memoir, The Last Resort, described coming of age during the civil rights movement in segregated Mississippi. The sequel, That Woman from Mississippi (Nautilus Publishing Company), opens with her flight from her husband and children in Mississippi and explores the consequences of exile. The nurturing mother is our model, and society does not easily forgive a woman who leaves her children. Partnered with the powerful and attractive civil rights lawyer who carried her away, Watkins tries to balance the love she feels for him, and for graduate school and teaching, with guilt over that loss. In the face of betrayal, she realizes how ridiculous it was to free herself from one man by fastening herself to another. Humorous and discerning, the book shows how excruciating it is for women to do what men take for granted: find a harmony in love, work, and parenting.