London’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas

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Festival Archive

Jewish Book Week 2014

Saturday, 22 February 2014 to Sunday, 2 March 2014

Jewish Book Week 2014 offered 64 events from 22 February to 2 March at Kings Place, London. 

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Events

02-22 Saturday

JMI Drawing Life
Drawing Life Preview - performance & discussion
Saturday, 22 February 2014 - 8:00pm

Drawing Life, a Jewish Music Institute (JMI) production composed by Jocelyn Pook, is inspired by a collection of poems and drawings made by children imprisoned in Terezin.

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02-23 Sunday

Shlomo Avineri on Theodor Herzl
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 11:00am

The first biography of the father of modern political Zionism in 35 years tells the story of the Austrian journalist who made the idea of a Jewish state his life project.

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Smoked Salmon Kings
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 11:00am

Purveyors of deli specialities in the old Jewish heartlands of New York and London, Mark Russ Federman and Lance Forman shared their families’ experiences running Russ & Daughters on the L

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Alain de Botton on News
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 12:30pm

The News: A User’s Manual looks at the peculiar place that “the news” occupies in our lives.

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Zeruya Shalev The Remains of Love
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 12:30pm

The writing of best-selling Israeli author Zeruya Shalev has earned her multiple prizes and many adoring fans around the world.

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Nazi-Looted Art: A Time Of Reckoning?
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 2:00pm

The discovery of a huge cache of Nazi-plundered paintings in a Munich flat brings hope that thousands of other looted artworks may be found. The revelation has focused worldwide attention on the German authorities and their and others' moral and legal equivocations.

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Josh Cohen The Private Life
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 2:00pm

Social networking, reality TV and super-injunctions present new fronts in a war over privacy. Literature professor and psychoanalyst Josh Cohen critiques the intrusiveness of contemporary culture which deems everything we do public property.

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Mark Thompson The Life of Danilo Kiš
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 2:00pm

The experimental story-telling of writer Danilo Kiš and his profound meditation on the human condition generated controversy in his native Yugoslavia and earned him admirers both before and since his death in 1989.  Mark Thompson discusses

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A Rabbi Reads the Torah
In Conversation with the Bible FREE EVENT
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 3:30pm

To mark the publication of his latest book of reflections on the Bible, A Rabbi Reads the Torah, and Welcome to the Cavalcade, a Festschrift in honour of his 70th birthday, Jonathan Mag

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Bo Lidegaard and Bernard Wasserstein Rescuers
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 3:30pm

Bo Lidegaard’s Countrymen is the first full history of how the Danish people managed to rescue the lives of 95% of the country’s Jewish population.

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The Leonard Bernstein Letters
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 3:30pm

The American superstar composer and conductor was also an enthusiastic letter writer.

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Backstage Polly Maggoo, 1966 © William Klein Courtesy HackelBury Fine Art
William Klein in conversation with Alan Yentob
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 5:00pm

The influential photographer, painter and filmmaker comes to Jewish Book Week to discuss his career and life with Alan Yentob.

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Rita Goldberg Growing up with the Holocaust
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 5:00pm

Hilde Jacobsthal was brought up in Amsterdam, spent World War Two on the run and met her future husband in liberated Bergen-Belsen where she worked as a nurse. A close family friend was Otto Frank, father of Anne; Hilde was one of the first to tell him his family had perished.

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Eshkol Nevo Neuland FREE EVENT
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 5:00pm

The wandering Jew has become the wandering Israeli, backpacking in far-flung places in search of meaning and identity.

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Olga Gershenson on Soviet Holocaust Film
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 6:30pm

The Soviet Union made an entire canon of films between the 1930s and the late 1980s about the Holocaust and Nazi anti-semitism.

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Andrew Sachs I Know Nothing
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 6:30pm

Andrew Sachs came to the UK with his parents aged eight and will forever be associated with Manuel the Spanish waiter, a role he created in the cult television show Fawlty Towers.

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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef A Genius of Jewish Law
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 6:30pm

When scholar and former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Ovadia Yosef died aged 93 in October 2013, vast crowds attended his funeral. Yosef had an unrivalled breadth of learning and his decisions on religious issues were magisterial, if often lenient.

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Donna-Lee Frieze and A L Kennedy on Raphael Lemkin
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 8:00pm

A three-way conversation about the life and legacy of Raphael Lemkin, the Polish Jewish lawyer who coined the word “Genocide” and led the efforts to draft the first modern human rights treaty, with Donna-Lee Frieze, who has edited the unpublished manuscript of Lemkin's autobiography, a

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Henry Goodman, Photo by Catherine Ashmore © 2007
50 years of Fiddler on the Roof
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 8:00pm

Update: Actor Henry Goodman, who played Tevye in the 2007 London stage version of Fiddler on the Roof joins the line-up for this event. 

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02-24 Monday

Imagine J Kerr with Alan Yentob © 2013 Kristjan Czako Photography
Imagine... Hitler, the Tiger and Me FREE EVENT
Monday, 24 February 2014 - 3:00pm

An opportunity to see the 2013 BBC Imagine documentary about author Judith Kerr in her 90th Birthday year. The creator of some of Britain’s best-loved children’s books still runs upstairs to work in her studio.

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Alison Macleod Unexploded
Monday, 24 February 2014 - 5:30pm

Brighton, summer 1940. Fear of invasion brings unspoken desires to the surface as a middle-class English family anxiously awaits news.

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Ari Shavit My Promised Land
Monday, 24 February 2014 - 7:00pm

A groundbreaking and authoritative examination of Israel by one of the most influential columnists writing about the Middle East today. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis.

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Mark Gevisser Dispatcher
Monday, 24 February 2014 - 7:00pm

As a boy growing up in apartheid Johannesburg Mark Gevisser would play “Dispatcher”, a game that involved sending imaginary couriers on routes mapped out from Holmden’s Register of Johannesburg.

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Robert Harris An Officer and a Spy
Monday, 24 February 2014 - 8:30pm

An Officer and a Spy is Robert Harris's compelling recreation of the Dreyfus Affair, a scandal that became the most famous miscarriage of justice in history.

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The challenges of ageing
Monday, 24 February 2014 - 8:30pm

The quest for an elixir of yout

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02-25 Tuesday

Lipika Pelham The Unlikely Settler
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 1:00pm

Lipika Pelham’s childhood in Bengal was haunted by political and physical divisions. Later in life, she experienced similar divisions in Jerusalem, where she lived with her English Jewish husband.

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Erwin Blumenfeld, from The Man Who Shot Beautiful Women (TVF International) (C) The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld
Film: The Man Who Shot Beautiful Women FREE EVENT
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 3:00pm

Remy Blumenfeld, Erwin Blumenfeld’s grandson, wrote and produced this fascinating documentary about the German who survived two world wars to become one of the world’s most celebrated fashion photographers and a key influence on photography as an art form.

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William Sutcliffe The Wall
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 5:30pm

Inspired by a visit to Palestine The Wall is a story of a unnamed divided city, where a boy strays on to the wrong side of the wall to find his life changed forever.

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Jonathan Miller: Drama and Perception
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 7:00pm

Jonathan Miller is one of the most multitalented Britons of his generation: an internationally celebrated opera and theatre director, a physician, writer and TV personality. Noted for his dazzling intelligence and anti-establishmentarian wit, he is one of postw

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Unscrolled
Event Cancelled - Adam Mansbach and Roger Bennett Unscrolled
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 7:00pm

Unfortunately, Roger Bennett is no longer able to come to the festival, and so this event has been cancelled. Jewish Book Week will be scheduling a replacement event to be announced in the next few days.

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Thomas Harding Hanns and Rudolf
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 7:00pm

It was only at his great-uncle’s funeral that Thomas Harding learned of his German relative’s extraordinary past. Hanns Alexander, an officer in the British army, was the man who tracked down and helped bring to justice the Commandant of Auschwitz.

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Erwin Blumenfeld, from The Man Who Shot Beautiful Women (TVF International) (C) The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld
Art and fashion: the legacy of Erwin Blumenfeld
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 8:30pm

The impact that the legendary German-born photographer had on the fashion world is felt to this day but Erwin Blumenfeld’s range as an artist went well beyond his groundbreaking Vogue covers.

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Noreena Hertz Eyes Wide Open
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 8:30pm

Economist Noreena Hertz explores with Daniel Finkelstein how we make decisions. Are emails destroying your ability to think? How do you know which information sources are credible? Whose advice should you trust?

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02-26 Wednesday

Making a Killing
Film: Making a Killing NEW EVENT
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 7:00pm

A timely showing of an influential documentary film that helped draw world attention to the thousands of paintings seized by the Nazis which have still not been returned to their rightful owners.

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Otto Dov Kulka and Simon Schama
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 7:00pm

Otto Dov Kulka’s Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death is a memoir of astounding literary and emotional power, exploring the permanent and indelible marks left b

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Go the F--k to Sleep
Event Cancelled - Adam Mansbach Go the F*** To Sleep
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 7:00pm

Unfortunately, Adam Mansbach is no longer able to come to the festival, and so this event has been cancelled. Jewish Book Week will be scheduling a replacement event to be announced in the next few days.

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Julie Burchill Unchosen
Julie Burchill Unchosen
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 8:30pm

At 14 Julie Burchill fell in love. Not with a boy, but “with a whole race of people – the Jews”. The journalist and novelist has been learning Hebrew and even chose Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, as her single record choice for Desert Island Discs.

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Binocular Vision
The Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize 2014
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 8:30pm

Enjoy a glass of wine and listen to a lively discussion about the difficulties – and joys – of judging a completely disparate group of fiction and non-fiction books submitted for the prestigious £4,000 JQ Wingate Prize.

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02-27 Thursday

Eve Harris and Sathnam Sanghera Hendon and Wolverhampton
Thursday, 27 February 2014 - 1:00pm

When it comes to an obsession with marrying off the children, Jews have more in common with others than they sometimes care to admit.

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Irving Finkel The Ark before Noah
Thursday, 27 February 2014 - 3:00pm

A man walked into the British Museum one day in 2008 and handed Irving Finkel a palm-sized piece of clay carrying instructions for building the ark. Dating from 1850 BC, the cuneiform tablet is a copy of the Babylonian Story of the Flood.

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Ruby Wax Sane New World
Thursday, 27 February 2014 - 7:00pm

The comedian and “poster girl for mental illness” launches the paperback of Sane New World, a manual for living with less everyday frenzy.

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Reading Siegfried Sassoon and Isaac Rosenberg 100 years on
Thursday, 27 February 2014 - 7:00pm

Some of the most haunting poems of the First World War were written by Jews.

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David Grossman and Ian McEwan Falling Out of Time
Thursday, 27 February 2014 - 8:30pm

Israel’s celebrated author David Grossman author returned to Jewish Book Week to discuss Falling Out of Time, an exp

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Dannie Abse Speak, Old Parrot
Thursday, 27 February 2014 - 8:30pm

Poet Dannie Abse returned to Jewish Book Week with a new collection for his 90th Birthday year on love, medicine, the passing of time and Jewish folk tradition.

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03-1 Saturday

The Beatles - Tune In
Mark Lewisohn on The Beatles
Saturday, 1 March 2014 - 7:30pm

Mark Lewisohn is the independent historian of The Beatles, who is working on a three-volume history, All These Years. The first volume was published in November 2013.

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How Should a Person Be?
Sheila Heti How Should a Person Be?
Saturday, 1 March 2014 - 7:30pm

With a twenty-something protagonist named Sheila, and a narrative based on conversations and emails between her and her friends, this 2012 sensation

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© Jill Furmanovsky
The Jewish roots of Punk
Saturday, 1 March 2014 - 9:00pm

40 years after it first emerged from the New York underground scene, the Punk movement continues to excite and inspire.

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Ari Shavit: Israel and the Diaspora
Saturday, 1 March 2014 - 9:00pm

Extra session with Ari Shavit added to the 2014 festival in response to popular demand

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03-2 Sunday

National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Louis Kahn, 1962-83 © Raymond Meier
Joseph Rykwert on Louis Kahn
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 11:00am

2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the death of American architect Louis Kahn, whose projects were considered as important as those of Le Corbusier or Mies van der Rohe.

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The Talmud A Biography
The Talmud The book that shaped Judaism
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 11:00am

The Talmud is a repository of centuries of rabbinic wisdom on law, legend and life, with a dialectic structure setting it apart from virtually any other text.

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Into The Light
Keiron Pim and Miri Rubin Medieval Norwich
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 11:00am

How was life for Jews in medieval England? Recent scholarship and a groundbreaking new translation of Hebrew poetry from Norwich shed light on a dark period of Anglo-Jewish history.

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Judith Kerr A life in words and pictures CANCELLED
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 12:30pm

Update Friday 28 February: We are very sorry to announce that Judith Kerr is unwell and very sadly unable to attend the festival on Sunday.

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Gerda Taro Inventing Robert Capa
Jane Rogoyska Gerda Taro and photojournalism
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 12:30pm

Pioneering photographer Gerda Taro died in combat in the Spanish Civil war, aged 26. She did not live to see her partner Robert Capa become the world’s most celebrated photojournalist.

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Forbidden Music
Jews and Music under Nazi rule
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 12:30pm

Update Friday 28 February: More tickets are now available for this event, which will be held in Hall One of Kings Place.

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Mark Dapin Spirit House
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 2:00pm

David is 13 and confused. His mum has gone off with her lover and sent David to his grandparents to give her new relationshp some “space”. David's grandfather, Jimmy - a Jewish veteran and survivor of the enforced labour on the Thai-Burma railway - is 70.

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The Fog of Peace
Gianni Picco and Gabrielle Rifkind The Fog of Peace
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 2:00pm

Peacemaking challenges every fundamental idea that we hold. Why should we talk to the enemy? What happens if people are nasty and brutish and we want to retaliate? How do we find the capacity not to hit back, trapping ourselves in endless cycles of violence?

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Multiples, Granta, 2013
Adam Foulds and Sheila Heti Multiples
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 2:00pm

Two young novelists discuss an extraordinary literary relay game in which dozens of writers have a go at translation, the thread of a story passing from culture to culture with often surprising twists and turns.

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Claudia Roden The Food of Italy
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 3:30pm

Tuscany has never been closer to King’s Cross.

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Émigrés The Story of Phaidon and Thames & Hudson
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 3:30pm

Phaidon and Thames & Hudson, founded by Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe, are subjects of a forthcoming book, Émigrés.

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Claudia Roth Pierpont Roth Unbound
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 3:30pm

Philip Roth has produced some of the greatest literature of the 20th century, yet there has been no major critical work about him to date. Now, for the first time, Claudia Roth Pierpont brings us the story of Roth’s creative life.

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JDOV The Jewish Talk of Your Life FREE EVENT
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 5:00pm

Our special Jewish Book Week take on TED, the popular conference which asks speakers to give "the talk of their life", is back following its success at last year's festival.

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Gideon Lewis-Kraus A Sense of Direction
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 5:00pm

“If David Foster Wallace had written Eat, Pray, Love it might have come close to approximating the adventures of Gideon Lewis-Kraus”, wrote Gary Shteyngart on his friend’s debut novel,

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Clive Sinclair Death and Texas
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 5:00pm

The stories in Clive Sinclair’s fourth collection range from New Orleans and Texas to Peru and Venice, and their cast includes Davy Crockett, Princess Diana and Shylock.

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Disraeli or The Two Lives
Douglas Hurd and Edward Young on Disraeli
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 6:30pm

The George Webber Memorial Lecture

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Andrew Hussey The French Intifada
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 6:30pm

Beyond the affluent centre of Paris a guerrilla war is ablaze between the secular French state and the former subjects of its Muslim North African colonies.

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The 5 Houses of Lea Goldberg
Film Double-Bill: Lea Goldberg and Yona Wallach
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 6:30pm

Israeli filmmaker Yair Qedar comes to Jewish Book Week for the UK premiere of two documentaries, The Five Houses of Lea Goldberg (2011) and The Seven Tapes (2012). The films are dedicated to the work and lives of two of Israel’s best-loved poets, Lea Goldberg and Yona Wallach.

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Gary Shteyngart Little Failure
Sunday, 2 March 2014 - 8:00pm

Little Failure – the alarming pet-name given to the young Gary Shteyngart by his father when growing up in pre-Glasnost Russia – is a remarkable immigrant memoir.

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Contributors

The JBW Newsfeed

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Video

 
Jonathan Safran Foer discussing his novel Here I Am with Hephzibah Anderson at an out-of-festival event.