The Koffler @ IFOA!
Sunday, October 23, 2011 | 11 AM – 6 PM
$15 Koffler Envision & Authors Members | $18 General Public
Harbourfront Centre, Lakeside Terrace, 235 Queens Quay W.

The International Festival of Authors (IFOA) brings together the best writers of contemporary world literature for 12 days of readings, talks, discussions and public book signings. This year, the Koffler hosts a full day of conversations and gatherings with top Jewish authors from around the world. The day will focus on new books exploring Russian-Jewish stories as part of the kofflerkultura series, as well as new works in translation, the thematic focus of this year’s IFOA.


When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone
At the end of World War II, three million Jews were trapped inside the Soviet Union. They lived a paradox—unwanted by a repressive Stalinist state, yet forbidden to leave. The award-winning first book by Gal Beckerman, When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone is the astonishing, inspiring story of the rescue of Soviet Jewry. He will be joined in conversation by author David Bezmozgis (whose latest novel tells the story of a Jewish family escaping the Iron Curtain) and the Honourable Irwin Cotler, Member of Parliament, former Minister of Justice of Canada and prominent international human rights attorney. Cotler defended formerly imprisoned dissidents Nelson Mandela and Natan Sharansky, jailed in a Soviet gulag for Jewish activism. Moderated by the Koffler’s Executive Director, Lori Starr.

Writing Russian Roots
Acclaimed authors David Bezmozgis (Natasha and Other Stories, The Free World) and Gary Shteyngart (The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, Super Sad True Love Story) both born in the former Soviet Union in the 70s, both moved to Toronto and New York respectively as children, and both mine their Russian-Jewish immigrant experiences in their writing. Conversation moderated by journalist Gal Beckerman, author of the definitive book on Soviet Jewry. Presented as part of kofflerkultura.

(via Koffler Events)