Shulem Deen’s award-winning book offers a moving and illuminating exploration of the highly secretive world of ultra-Orthodox Judaism, bravely tracing one man’s loss of faith. Married at eighteen and the father of five children, Deen was raised to believe that questions are dangerous. His first transgression – turning on the radio – was minor, but initiated a feverish inquiry into the real world and the tenets of his religious beliefs until, several years later, his faith unravelled and he struggled to hold on to those he loved most. In conversation with Rabbi Rebecca Birk.
In partnership with Mavar.
Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman recounts Rabin’s foreshortened life, from his childhood in Tel Aviv in the 1920s through his military and political careers, taking in his ambassadorship to the US and, ultimately, premiership of Israel. Based on the author’s own relationship with Rabin, archival research and extensive interviews, the book depicts Rabin’s complex personality within the wider context of Israel and the Middle East.
In this highly personal memoir, both funny and poignant, Robin Lustig describes a career spanning more than 40 years, from his childhood as the son of German refugees to interviewing some of the world’s most revered and reviled leaders – from Mandela to Karadžić. The award-winning journalist and broadcaster has lived in, worked in and reported from more than 80 countries, including three years as the Observer’s Jerusalem correspondent. He was shot at in Pakistan, was in Berlin the day Germany was re-unified and in Moscow for the final day of the Soviet Union. He talks to David Aaronovitch about his life as a newsman.
Elena Lappin’s life as a multiple emigré could be described as ‘five languages in search of an author’. Russian, Czech, French, German, Hebrew and English – each language is a link to a different piece of her rich family mosaic. Triggered by the discovery of a biological father she never knew, Lappin's memoir is the story of finding a voice in a language not one’s own, and a meditation on how language runs throughout memory and family history to form identity. She writes: ‘As a writer, I died when my parents decided to emigrate, and I knew it. And then came the miracle of being reborn in English.’ She talks to novelist Elif Shafak about writing in English. Chaired by Lucy Scholes.
Darian Leader and Emma Tarlo unveil some of the mysteries of our bodies. Psychoanalyst Darian Leader’s Hands: What We Do with Them – and Why is a fascinating odyssey through the history of what human beings do with their hands, drawing examples from popular culture, art history, psychoanalysis, technology and clinical research. Anthropologist Emma Tarlo’s book Entanglement: The Secret Lives of Hair is full of surprising revelations and penetrating insights, from fashion and beauty to religion, politics, cultural identity and commercial exploitation. Chaired by sociologist and author Anne Karpf.
John Steinberg’s Blue Skies Over Berlin is a moving and thought-provoking book about guilt and identity, featuring a young German woman who moves to London from war-ravaged Berlin in 1956. Taking a false name – Charlotte Brown – she lands the job of her dreams at the National Gallery, becoming enmeshed in a world of aristocratic rogues, conmen, thieves and shady art dealers.
Head of Sotheby’s Restitution Department, Richard Aronowitz’s An American Decade is an ambitious novel that takes in the tumultuous 1930s and the subsequent dramatic events of mid-twentieth century history: the Third Reich; the little-known story of the Nazi organisation – the German American Bund; and the Kindertransport. The authors discuss their work with writer and journalist Jenni Frazer.