London’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas

Past Events

Stephan Mendel-Enk: Oh Sweden! Oh Israel!
Stephen Mendel-Enk , Jeremy Gavron
Sunday, 3 March 2013

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Around the time of Jacob's bar mitzvah, his mother leaves his father for another man, a Swedish goy. It's 1987, the first Intifada is about to break out in Israel, and the Jews of Gothenburg are under a certain amount of strain. Stephan Mendel-Enk came to Jewish Book Week to present his acclaimed first novel, a portrait by turns comic and tragic of a family going through divorce and the divided loyalties of Diaspora Jewish life.

“Mendel-Enk is brilliant in his humorous, devastating and loving depiction of Jewish life in the Diaspora... It shifts from being zany -– so that one laughs out loud –- to being truly serious and emotional” Bokaktuellt

"A brilliant, funny, touching and sad story with many compassionate portraits of people living their lives with their hearts somewhere else." Aftonbladet

Stephan Mendel-Enk was born in 1974 and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden. With a background in journalism, he has written for the esteemed soccer journal Offside, contributed to Sweden's largest daily, Dagens Nyheter, and worked for National Swedish Radio. In 2004, Mendel-Enk published the highly praised reportage With an Obvious Sense of Style, an examination of masculinity and violence. Oh Sweden! Oh Israel! is his much-anticipated fiction debut, published in the UK in March 2013.

Jeremy Gavron is the author of three novels: Moon, The Book of Israel, An Acre of Barren Ground.

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Video

 
An exclusive talk from Andrew Solomon at the 2016 festival.