Unpacking the Book: Borders of Home
The Jewish Museum
1109 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10128
The Saul and Gladys Gwirtzman Lecture
Copresented by Jewish Book Council, The Jewish Museum, and Tablet Magazine
Hear authors Esther Safran Foer and Keith Gessen in a conversation with Stephanie Butnick, Tablet Magazine
Tickets: Free; Advance RSVP Required
In the twenty-first century, it’s become easier than ever to explore one’s family history — but even with an increased ability to travel, analyze DNA, and explore archival material, how close can we really get to understanding our origins, and why they matter? Authors Esther Safran Foer (I Want You to Know We’re Still Here) and Keith Gessen (A Terrible Country) recount journeys to their ancestral homes of Ukraine and Russia, respectively, as they grapple with how the past informs our understanding of self and home. Join us as we explore a century of personal Jewish history in a conversation moderated by Tablet Magazine’s Stephanie Butnick.
The conversation will be followed by a reception, book sale, and signing. Admission to the event is free, and includes an opportunity to visit the Jewish Museum’s galleries on the day of the program. Advance RSVP is required; however, early arrival is suggested as space is limited, and entry is not guaranteed.
Esther Safran Foer was the CEO of Sixth & I, a center for arts, ideas, and religion. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Bert. They are the parents of Franklin, Jonathan, and Joshua, and the grandparents of six.
Keith Gessen is the author of the novels A Terrible Country and All the Sad Young Literary Men and a founding editor of n+1. He is the editor of three nonfiction books and the translator or co-translator, from Russian, of a collection of short stories, a book of poems, and a work of oral history, Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl. A contributor to The New Yorker and The London Review of Books, Gessen teaches journalism at Columbia and lives in New York with his wife and son.
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast. She is the author, along with her co-hosts, of The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar’s and Everything in Between. She has written for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.