Book Talk: People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present with Dara Horn
Reflecting on subjects as far-flung as the international veneration of Anne Frank, the blockbuster traveling exhibition called “Auschwitz,” the Jewish history of the Chinese city of Harbin, and the little known “righteous Gentile” Varian Fry, Dara Horn challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, as emblematic of the worst of evils the world has to offer, and so little respect for Jewish lives, as they continue to unfold in the present.
In her latest collection of essays People Love Dead Jews, Horn draws on her own family’s life — trying to explain Shakespeare’s Shylock to a curious 10-year-old, her anger when swastikas are drawn on desks at her children’s school in New Jersey, the profound and essential perspective offered by traditional religious practice, prayer, and study — to assert the vitality, complexity, and depth of this life against an anti-Semitism that, far from being disarmed by the mantra of “Never forget,” is on the rise.
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