Joshua Cohen, Rivka Galchen & Ruby Namdar: Remembering A.B. Yehoshua

Wed. Nov 16, 2022 6:30pm - 7:30pm EST
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The authors explore Yehoshua’s legacy and the role of Hebrew literature and language in Israel and America.

A.B. Yehoshua, one of Israel's most prolific and revered authors, died in June. A winner of Israel’s prestigious Dan David prize as well as the National Jewish Book Award, Yehoshua was cited as one of the writers who “planted his nation on the map of world literature.” At the same time, he maintained a complex relationship with American Jews, whose identity he termed  inauthentic and only “partially” Jewish. 

Award-winning authors Joshua Cohen and Rivka Galchen speak with novelist Ruby Namdar about Yehoshua’s complicated legacy, his language, and his works. 

Presented in partnership with Jewish Book Council. Jew­ish Book Coun­cil is a nonprofit devot­ed exclu­sive­ly to the sup­port and cel­e­bra­tion of Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture. Visit their website to find their reviews, essays, and literary journal; their book club resources and author tours; and their literary awards, including the National Jewish Book Awards and Natan Notable Books.

This program is part of the Celebrate 350 Lecture series, a permanent tribute to the anniversary of the arrival of Jews in New York City.

Presented in partnership with the Dorot Jewish Division of The New York Public Library. The oldest public collection of Jewish research materials in America, the Dorot Jewish Division celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2022. Find out how the Library is marking this milestone and read about the history of the collection.

To join the event in-person | Please be sure to register for an In-Person Ticket. Doors will open 30 minutes before the program begins. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.

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Joshua Cohen headshotJoshua Cohen's books include the novels Moving Kings, Book of Numbers, Witz, A Heaven of Others, and Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto; the short-fiction collection Four New Messages, and the nonfiction collection Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction. Cohen was awarded Israel’s 2013 Matanel Prize for Jewish Writers, and in 2017 was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. His most recent novel, The Netanyahus, won the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He lives in New York City.

Ruby Namdar headshotRivka Galchen is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She has an MD from the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine. Her work has been anthologized in the Best American series and elsewhere, and she has previously been a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books, Harper’s, and the Times Magazine. She is the author of two novels, a short-story collection, an essay collection, and a novel for children. Her most recent novel, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch, is centered on the true history of the witch trial of the mother of the astronomer Johannes Kepler. She is currently working on a book of essays about the lives of scientists.

Ruby Namdar headshotRuby Namdar was born and raised in Jerusalem to a family of Iranian-Jewish heritage. His first book, Haviv (2000), won The Ministry of Culture's Award for Best First Publication. His novel The Ruined House has won the Sapir Prize, Israel’s most prestigious literary award. The novel was translated to English by Hillel Halkin and published in the US in 2017 by Harper-Collins. Ruby currently lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters and teaches Jewish literature, focusing on Biblical and Talmudic narrative.



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In-Person | Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template. This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs. 

Livestream | Captions and a transcript will be provided. Media used over the course of the conversation will be accompanied by alt text and/or audio description. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template.


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LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund, and the support of Library patrons and friends.

Joshua Cohen © Marion Ettlinger
Rivka Galchen © Sandy Tait
Ruby Namdar © Beowulf Sheehan

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Stephen A. Schwarzman Building 476 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018