Mary Shelley

About the Scholar/Presenter

About the presenter - Susan Marie Frontczak

Storysmith® Susan Marie Frontczak brings history and literature to life, creates stories from thin air, and hones personal experience into tales worth telling again and again. She was invited to create a living history of Mary Shelley in connection with a nationally traveling exhibit on Frankenstein. The exhibit was developed as a collaboration between the American Library Association and the U.S. National Library of Medicine. For Susan Marie, learning about Mary Shelley became a journey into the creative process. She bears witness to how Shelley's own personal experiences inform a story that seems from the outside a fantastical invention. Mary's imagination sublimates suffering into a challenge, probing what it means to be human. 

Furthermore, for Susan Marie, Frankenstein represents coming full circle: In her early life she delighted in the magical and supernatural of fairy tales. This was supplanted for a number of years by a career in the sciences and engineering. Frankenstein brings her back to the supernatural, albeit transformed into the possible by today's tech wizardry and shadowed by the question mark of bioethical responsibility.