David Bezmozgis in the News
The Brandeis Hoot, Arts, etc. - Author David Bezmozgis discusses his novels...Read More
BGI Hornstein Graduate Fellow Ira Krakhman's Reflections
Dear guests, students, faculty and lovers of literature and history.
Tonight is a culmination of an idea born of a long-repressed desire to confront the mouthful of my identity: Soviet, Jewish, American. And when I say confront, I mean in the way of a train wreck-- publicly and graphically.
Those of you who follow the news may have heard that recently the Jewish people have fled the land of Egypt and found freedom. Again. After thousands of years we know the drill: dress quickly, pack lightly, and smear the neighbors’ doors with lamb’s blood on the way out. Read More...
A Reading and Conversation with David Bezmozgis, author of Natasha and The Free World
On April 24, David Bezmozgis, author of The Free World and Natasha and Other Stories, read and discussed his works at Brandeis University. The author's visit was part of a cultural identity project envisioned by a BGI fellow, Ira Krakhman, earning degrees at the Hornstein Program for Jewish Professional Leadership and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.
As a Soviet-born Jewish immigrant, Ira sought to bring the conversation of Russian American diaspora experience to the broader audience. Drawing on first-hand immigration experience, Bezmozgis's fiction delves into the little known story of the Soviet Jews' passage through the Iron Curtain.
Bezmozgis belongs to an emergent generation of Russian-speaking, English-writing authors to explore their Jewish heritage from this unique cultural vantage. His work has earned numerous accolades including his listing in The New Yorker's 20 Under 40 issue, celebrating the twenty most promising fiction writers under the age of forty. The Brandeis community showed genuine interest through lively attendance and thoughtful questions. Several Brandeis courses this semester incorporated Bezmozgis's work, suggesting a growing interest in Russian Jewish history. Whether this interest ever captures mainstream is yet to be seen. What was clear is how meaningful this evening was to Ira who opened the night with words of gratitude to Bezmozgis for tracing her "people's" journey to the juncture of Russian, American, Jewish worlds.
Presented by the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry