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CRS Book Club: People Love Dead Jews
Thu, Dec 1, 2022 • 7:00 PM
People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present by Dara Horn
Winner of the 2021 National Jewish Book Award for Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice ● Finalist for the 2021 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year ● A Wall Street Journal, Chicago Public Library, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
Renowned and beloved as a prizewinning novelist, Dara Horn has also been publishing penetrating essays since she was a teenager. Often asked by major publications to write on subjects related to Jewish culture―and increasingly in response to a recent wave of deadly antisemitic attacks―Horn was troubled to realize what all of these assignments had in common: she was being asked to write about dead Jews, never about living ones.
Horn draws upon her travels, her research, and also her own family life―trying to explain Shakespeare’s Shylock to a curious ten-year-old, her anger when swastikas are drawn on desks in her children’s school, the profound perspective offered by traditional religious practice and study―to assert the vitality, complexity, and depth of Jewish life against an antisemitism that, far from being disarmed by the mantra of “Never forget,” is on the rise. As Horn explores the (not so) shocking attacks on the American Jewish community in recent years, she reveals the subtler dehumanization built into the public piety that surrounds the Jewish past―making the radical argument that the benign reverence we give to past horrors is itself a profound affront to human dignity.
Book Club gathers once a month to discuss literature (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or plays) written by a Jewish author or with a theme of Jewish interest. Meetings are self-moderated and led by different members each month. The group nominates and selects their reading material. Every meeting provides spirited conversation and a chance to learn in a stimulating environment.
Click here to see what we’re reading each month.