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Voices: Rescued Stories Brought to Life

Voices: Rescued Stories Brought to Life

Monday, June 13, 2022 - 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm


Voices: Rescued Stories Brought to Life
A Conversation with Writer/Cartoonist Ken Krimstein

Advance reservations are required for this free online event.
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Spertus Institute is thrilled to again be working with writer and New Yorker cartoonist Ken Krimstein—and to be able to share his amazing latest project with you.

Several years ago, we worked with Krimstein on an exhibition of archival materials and drawings from his graphic biography of Hannah Arendt, which went on to be a finalist for the Jewish Book Award. In the middle of our work together, he left on a mysterious trip to Vilnius.

When I Grow Up
Sparked during that visit, his book When I Grow Up: The Lost Autobiographies of Six Yiddish Teenagers has us mesmerized.

An NPR Best Book of the Year 
A Washington Post 
Best Book 
A Chicago Tribune Best Read

In the 1930s, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in Vilna (Vilnius), held a memoir-writing contest for Yiddish-speaking teens. They received 700 entries. The prize was to be awarded on September 1, 1939, the day Hitler invaded Poland.

Long thought to be lost to the Nazis, the teens’ essays were in fact heroically smuggled into hiding. In 2017, they were found. Krimstein, notebook in hand, came to bring them to life. In When I Grow Up, Krimstein shares stories from six of the young men and women. Almost cinematic, the narratives are full of humor, yearning, ambition, and teen angst. It’s as if half a dozen new Anne Frank stories suddenly came to light, framed by the dramatic story of their rediscovery.

“Readers will leave with gratitude for Krimstein’s innovative vision of a time and place, rescued from oblivion.” — JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL

Ken Krimstein, photo by Richard ShayKen Krimstein is a cartoonist, author, and educator whose work regularly appears in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, and the Chicago Tribune. His 2018 book The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt won the Bernard J. Bromm­el Award for Biog­ra­phy and Mem­oir, was named a Best Graphic Novel of the Year by Forbes, and was a final­ist for the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award. He teaches at DePaul University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

This is Spertus Institute’s 2022 Horwitz Family Presentation on Jewish History, generously endowed by the Horwitz Charitable Fund.

This program is free thanks to donors like you.
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from leadership development and academic offerings to
public programs like this one. Thank you!

Photo of Ken Krimstein by Richard Shay.

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