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ACCLAIMED AUTHOR AND LECTURER DARA HORN IN WINNIPEG MAY 6TH!

February 6, 2018

Adas Yeshurun Herzlia is proud to announce that Dara Horn will be the featured lecturer at the first annual Adas Yeshurun Presents event on May 6th.

Dara was born in New Jersey in 1977 and received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from Harvard University in 2006, studying Hebrew and Yiddish.  She has taught courses in Jewish literature and Israeli history at Sarah Lawrence College and City University of New York, and was a Visiting Professor in Jewish Studies at Harvard, where she taught Yiddish and Hebrew literature. She has lectured at over two hundred universities and cultural institutions throughout North America, in Israel and in Australia. She lives in New Jersey with her husband – Sylvia and Perry Schulman’s eldest son Brendan - and their four children.  Her fifth novel Eternal Life has just been published.

Eternal Life explores what it would really mean to live forever. Rachel has a problem: she can’t die. In the 2,000 years since she made a spiritual bargain to save the life of her first son back in Roman-occupied Jerusalem, she’s tried everything to free herself, and only one other person in the world understands: a man she once loved passionately, who has been stalking her through the centuries, convinced they belong together forever. But as the twenty-first century begins and her children and grandchildren develop new technologies that could change her fate and theirs, Rachel knows she must find a way out. Eternal Life celebrates the bonds between generations, the power of faith, the purpose of death, and the reasons for being alive.

Dara’s first novel In the Image follows a young New Jersey woman, Leora, through the death of a friend in high school and on to college, career, and falling in love. Simultaneously, it traces the story of Bill Landsmann, her lost friend’s grandfather, back through several generations of experience in Amsterdam, Austria, and New York’s Lower East Side. Each dramatic episode of their lives is also a foray into the nature of good and evil; of the significance of tradition and the law; of the presence or absence of God.

Her second novel The World To Come opens with a million-dollar painting by Marc Chagall is stolen from a museum during a singles’ cocktail hour.  The unlikely thief is Benjamin Ziskind, a lonely former child prodigy who writes questions for quiz shows and who is certain the painting used to hang on a wall of his parents’ living room.  Eighty years prior, Marc Chagall taught art to orphaned Jewish boys in Soviet Russia and befriended the great Yiddish novelist known by the pseudonym “Der Nister,” The Hidden One.  And there, with the lives of these real artists, the story of the painting begins, carrying with it not only a hidden fable by the Hidden One but also the story of the Ziskind family from Russia to New Jersey and Vietnam.

Dara’s third novel All Other Nights is a parable of the rift in America that lingers between those who value family and tradition first, and those dedicated, at any cost, to social and racial justice for all.  Jacob Rappaport, a Jewish soldier in the Union army during the Civil War, is ordered to murder his own uncle in New Orleans, who is plotting to assassinate President Lincoln, on Passover in 1862. After this harrowing mission, Jacob is recruited to pursue another enemy agent, the daughter of a Virginia family friend. But this time, his assignment isn’t to murder the spy, but to marry her. Based on real personalities and on historical facts and events ranging from an African-American spy network to the dramatic self-destruction of the city of Richmond, All Other Nights is a gripping and suspenseful story of men and women driven to the extreme limits of loyalty and betrayal.

Her fourth novel, A Guide for the Perplexed, is an engrossing adventure that intertwines stories from Genesis, medieval philosophy, and the digital frontier. Software prodigy Josie Ashkenazi has invented an application that records everything its users do. When an Egyptian library invites her to visit as a consultant, her sister Judith persuades her to go. Josie is abducted—leaving her talent for preserving memories a surprising test of her empathy and her only means of escape.  A century earlier, another traveler arrives in Egypt: Solomon Schechter, a Cambridge professor hunting for a medieval archive hidden in a Cairo synagogue. Both are haunted by the work of medieval philosopher Maimonides, the doctor and rationalist who sought to reconcile faith with science, and destiny with free will. Schechter’s findings as he tracks down the remnants of a thousand-year-old community’s once-vibrant life will reveal the power and perils of what Josie’s ingenious work brings into being: a world where nothing is ever forgotten.

Dara’s foray into non-fiction is The Rescuer, an e-book about a young Harvard-educated classicist named Varian Fry who arrived in occupied France in 1941 on a daring mission to rescue more than 2,000 of Europe’s leading writers, artists, and intellectuals from the Nazis. Hounded by the Gestapo, he smuggled Marchel Duchamp, Marc Chagall, Hannah Arendt and dozens of other 20th century cultural luminaries out of France and brought them to America. So why did even the people Fry saved want to forget him? In this fascinating psychological profile, acclaimed novelist Dara Horn, chosen by Granta magazine as one of the 25 best young novelists in America, follows the peculiar life and legacy of an American Oskar Schindler. In the process, she reveals the secrets of a man who risked his life when others were silent — and the unforeseen consequences, personal and cultural, of his bravery.

Please mark May 6th on your calendars for this exceptional evening!

 
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