George Webber Evening: Sixty Years On

Linda Grant, Eva Hoffman, Simon Schama, Emily Maitlis

19/02/2012 12:15 pm

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

Linda Grant writes both fiction and non-fiction. When I Lived in Modern Times won the Orange Prize and The Clothes on Their Backs, shortlisted for the Man Booker, won the South Bank Show Award.

Eva Hoffman

Eva Hoffman is an internationally renowned writer and academic. Born in Kraków, Poland, she emigrated to Canada in 1959. Her books, which are translated into many languages, include Lost in Translation, Exit into History and Time.

Simon Schama

Simon Schama is Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. A writer, journalist and broadcaster, he has written and presented 40 films for the BBC, including The Story of the Jews (based on his two-volume work of the same name), Citizens and Rough Crossings. He recently curated The Face of Britain for the National Portrait Gallery and created the book and television series of the same name.