London’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas

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Past Events

Past EventsSaturday, February 27

Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War

Their Promised Land, Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma
Chair: Adam Thirlwell

Having inherited a cache of thousands of letters between his grandparents, Ian Buruma, author of Year Zero, has interwoven his voice with theirs to bring to life a remarkable sixty-year marriage that survived many shocks and the span of two world wars.  In Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War, Buruma pays homage to achievements that included helping twelve Jewish children to escape Nazi Germany and find new lives in Britain. His spellbinding story tells of the sustaining power of a family’s love and devotion through very dark days. Ian Buruma is in conversation with author Adam Thirlwell. 

Ian Buruma was educated in Holland and Japan. He has spent many years in Asia, which he has written about in God's DustA Japanese Mirror and Behind the Mask. His other books include Playing the Game, The Wages of Guilt, Anglomania and Year Zero. Currently a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Institute for the Humanities in Washington DC, he writes frequently for The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and The FT.

Adam Thirlwell is the author of three novels, Politics, The Escape and Lurid & Cute; a novella, Kapow!; and a project with international novels that includes an essay-book – which won a Somerset Maugham Award – and a compendium of translations edited for McSweeney’s. His work is translated into 30 languages. He has twice been selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.

Experience the event as it happened:

Video Gallery

Ian Buruma

Adam Thirlwell © Peter Marlow

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Video

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