Writing Jewish Women’s Lives Seminar: Losing the Dead and Other Writerly Intimacies

At the core of OCLW’s new programme on Writing Jewish Women’s Lives, our new series of afternoon literary seminars are a chance to discuss books by and about Jewish women. At this seminar we welcome authors Lisa Appignanesi and Devorah Baum to talk about loss and grief, love and laughter, and being Jewish.

Losing the Dead is Lisa’s profound memoir of the time she returned to Poland on a quest to seek out her mother’s wartime secrets at the very moment when her mother’s own memory was getting lost to Alzheimer’s. In so doing, Lisa was led to reflect on the secrets of her own past and identity formations. Devorah, who happens to be Lisa’s daughter-in-law, draws on some related tropes of memoir and psychoanalysis in her writing and film-making. In this conversation, Lisa and Devorah will discuss Losing the Dead and then, more generally, the role played by familial stories in their work.