Diving for Pearls: A Thinking Journey with Hannah Arendt

Thinking Women Books  2013


Kathleen B. Jones brings a scholar's insights and a lyrical voice to this philosophical memoir about her thirty-year fascination with Hannah Arendt, one of the twentieth century's most controversial Jewish political thinkers. With Arendt as her guide, Jones recounts stories from her own life interwoven with reflections about Arendt's life and work, demonstrating Arendt's enduring relevance to thinking about the meaning of Jewish identity and the perplexities of modern life. Composed as a fugue of stories about responsibility and forgiveness, identity and belonging, Diving for Pearls opens into ever-widening circles of relationships—intimate love, parenthood, friendship, sexuality, and politics—carrying the reader into the depths of a contemporary Jewish woman's struggle to grapple with difficult questions about how to live an engaged life. Incorporating new material from the archives of both Elzbieta Ettinger and those of Arendt's biographer, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Diving for Pearls sheds new light on Arendt as a person and as a Jew. The result is a literary memoir at once intimate and philosophical.

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