Past Events

Past EventsThursday, February 28

Edmund de Waal: The Exiles Return

Edmund de Waal
Chair: Erica Wagner

The ceramicist and acclaimed author of The Hare With The Amber Eyes turns a new page in his family’s story. He came to Jewish Book Week to present his grandmother’s novel, The Exiles Return. Elisabeth de Waal’s book follows four exiles as they return to Vienna in the early 1950s, 15 years after their escape. The publication marks 75 years since the Anschluss.

As an artist working in ceramics much of Edmund de Waal’s recent work has been concerned with ideas of collecting and collections: how objects are kept together, lost, stolen or dispersed. His memoir of the migrations of his ancestors, the Ephrussis, from Odessa to Paris, Vienna to Tokyo and Tunbridge Wells became an international best-seller in 2010 and has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Elisabeth de Waal grew up in Palais Ephrussi in Vienna that was ransacked by the Nazis. A lawyer and poet, she left with her Dutch-born husband for England. It was on her return to Vienna after the war that she recovered the family collection of netsuke that had been hidden by the family’s maid.

Edmund de Waal’s first piece of public sculpture was installed at the University of Cambridge in 2012 and an exhibit working with the Chinese porcelain collections at the university’s Fitzwilliam Museum opens in February 2013. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Art and author most recently of The Pot Book. 

Photograph: Steven Joyce

Sponsored by the Webber family and in association with the Austrian Cultural Forum

To buy this book from Blackwell's, click here. Ten per cent of the proceeds of book sales through Blackwell's benefit Jewish Book Week.

Experience the event as it happened:

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