Ruth Zylberman talks about La Direction de l?absent, her debut novel about how the memory of Holocaust still haunts Paris, being published in English translation as The Department of Missing Persons. Thirty-six years after her mother was liberated from Bergen-Belsen, the novel?s unnamed narrator lives a comfortable life in Paris. Her mother sees ghosts at every turn, but she cannot reconcile her mother's trauma to the cheery bustle of daily life that surrounds them. A letter arrives from the Department of Missing Persons suggesting that the narrator?s grandfather is still alive. She and her mother begin a desperate hunt to find the truth and rid them both of their lingering ghosts.
Ruth Zylberman is trained as a historian and is a self-taught filmmaker, whose films include Paris-Fantomes, La Force des femmes, L'Homme Sans Douleur, 68 Annee Zero, and Dissidents les artisans de la Liberte.
She is joined in conversation by Marianne Hirsch, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Columbia
This event funded by the Knapp Family Foundation.