George Webber Evening: Sixty Years On
JBW 2012 celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Jewish Book Week.
When the first Jewish Book Week took place, memories of the War were painfully fresh and Israel a fragile idealistic fledgling state; It was the year Queen Elizabeth came to the throne and The Diary of Anne Frank was published in English. The world has changed in more ways than we could have foreseen: religion is openly criticised, we live in a multicultural society, Israel has still not achieved peace with its neighbours and the future of the book seems doomed.
Emily Maitlis invited brilliant minds - novelist Linda Grant, essayist Eva Hoffman and historian Simon Schama - to remember, debate and extrapolate to the future on the anniversary opening night of JBW 2012.
Linda Grant writes both fiction and non-fiction. When I Lived in Modern Times won the Orange Prize for fiction and The Clothes on Their Backs the South Bank Show award. We Had it So Good is her latest novel.
Eva Hoffman was born in Poland in 1945, emigrating to Canada with her family in the late 50s. She was trained as a concert pianist but instead elected to become a writer and academic. She is the author of several works of non-fiction – Lost in Translation, After Such Knowledge, Exit into History and Shtetl – and two novels.
Simon Schama is Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of fourteen books and has presented more than thirty documentaries on art and history for the BBC.
Emily Maitlis is a journalist currently presenting Newsnight.
This session was followed by a 1950s-themed party to celebrate Jewish Book Week's 60th Anniversary.
Experience the event as it happened:Video