Edmund de Waal: The Exiles Return

Edmund de Waal

01/03/2013
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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.

Edmund de Waal


Edmund de Waal CBE is an internationally acclaimed artist and writer, best known for his large-scale installations of porcelain vessels, often created in response to collections and archives or the history of a particular place. His interventions have been made for diverse spaces and museums worldwide, including The British Museum, London, The Frick Collection, New York and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. His memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes, won the RSL Ondaatje prize and the Costa Biography Award, was named as one of the books of the decade by the Sunday Times and of the 21st century by the Guardian. It was the Independent Bookseller Book of the Decade and has been translated into 29 languages. In 2015 he was awarded the Windham-Campbell prize for non-fiction by Yale University. The White Road, a journey into the history of porcelain, was published to great acclaim in 2015.  Edmund will present a major new exhibition this autumn at the Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris, inspired by his latest book Letters to Camondo . He lives in London with his family.  

Erica Wagner


Erica Wagner’s latest book is Chief Engineer: Washington Roebling, The Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge (Bloomsbury). Erica was the literary editor of the London Times for seventeen years and is now a contributing writer for the New Statesman and consulting literary editor for Harper’s Bazaar. She is the author of Ariel’s GiftSeizure (Faber & Faber), the short story collection Gravity (Granta) and the editor of First Light (Unbound), a celebration of the work of Alan Garner. She received the Eccles British Library Writer’s Award in 2014, and she is a lecturer in creative writing at Goldsmiths.

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