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Sep 25

SEP 25

6:00 PM–7:30 PM


The Department of Missing Persons

6:00 PM–7:30 PM    Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall

Panel Discussion:

The Department of Missing Persons

Ruth Zylberman, in conversation with Marianne Hirsch

To RSVP, please click here.

Ruth Zylberman talks about La Direction de l’absent, her debut novel about how the memory of Holocaust still haunts Paris, being published in English translation as The Department of Missing Persons. Thirty-six years after her mother was liberated from Bergen-Belsen, the novel’s unnamed narrator lives a comfortable life in Paris. Her mother sees ghosts at every turn, but she cannot reconcile her mother's trauma to the cheery bustle of daily life that surrounds them. A letter arrives from the Department of Missing Persons suggesting that the narrator’s grandfather is still alive. She and her mother begin a desperate hunt to find the truth and rid them both of their lingering ghosts.

Ruth Zylberman is trained as a historian and is a self-taught filmmaker, whose films include Paris-Fantômes, La Force des femmes, L’Homme Sans Douleur, 68 Année Zéro, and Dissidents, les artisans de la Liberté.

She is joined in conversation by Marianne Hirsch, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Columbia. Marianne Hirsch is the author of The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust.

This event funded by the Knapp Family Foundation. This event is co-sponsored  by the University Seminar on Cultural Memory.

The Department of Missing Persons