Drisha Book Salon & Text Study
Kick-Off Event: Tuesday, November 14, 7pm
Join us for a special evening with Ilana Kurshan, author of the newly released memoir, If All the Seas Were Ink (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), with an introduction given by Shai Secunda.
Ilana will discuss core themes in her book and how she came to write it. Led by Ilana, we will also study some of the classical Jewish texts that engendered the book and that are central to her themes.
We encourage participants to read the book in advance to enhance the nature of the discussion. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
At the age of 27, alone in Jerusalem in the wake of a painful divorce, Ilana Kurshan joined the world’s largest book club, learning daf yomi, Hebrew for “daily page” of the Talmud, a book of rabbinic teachings spanning about 600 years and the basis for all codes of Jewish law. By the time she completed the Talmud after seven and a half years, Kurshan was remarried with three young children. This memoir is a tale of heartache and humor, of love and loss, of marriage and motherhood, and of learning to put one foot in front of the other by turning page after page. For people of the book—both Jewish and non-Jewish—If All the Seas Were Ink is a celebration of learning, through literature, how to fall in love once again.
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Thursday, December 7, 7pm
Nicole Krauss’ fourth novel, Forest Dark, is a powerful, existential meditation on psychic displacement and restless Jewish movement between Here and There. It directly quotes classic Jewish sources, hints at others, and invites further pairings with biblical, talmudic, kabbalistic, and hassidic texts. In this second meeting of the Drisha Book Salon, we will learn about leaving and returning to Israel and Gan Eden, look at Jewish dreams and other doubled-states of being, and consider other sources that thematize and aspire to tranquility. The text study and book discussion will be led by Shai Secunda.
Forest Dark was just named a Best Book of 2017 by Publishers Weekly.
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The Drisha Book Salon & Text Study will regularly engage with new literature that draws on themes central to Torah texts, and will be moderated by the authors of the books or scholars of the literature. In the coming months The Drisha Book Salon will be reading Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss and The Ruined House by Ruby Namdar, and we will learn be-chavruta classical texts that animate both works. More details will be publicized soon.