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Ladino Day 2023: ‘Kantika’, a Sephardic Novel by Author Elizabeth Graver

Hosted By: Stroum Center for Jewish Studies - University of Washington

Join author Elizabeth Graver in conversation with Isaac Alhadeff Professor of Sephardic Studies Devin E. Naar for a discussion of “Kantika,” a moving, multi-generational saga inspired by Graver’s grandmother. Rebecca Baruch Levy (née Cohen) was born into a Sephardic Jewish family from Istanbul in the early 20th century, and her kaleidoscopic journey takes her to Barcelona, Havana, and ultimately New York, exploring themes of displacement, endurance, and family as home.

“Kantika” — meaning “song” in Ladino — is a lush, lyrical novel which celebrates the legacy of language, and the insistence on seizing beauty and grabbing hold of one’s one and only life.

“Far from being a Pollyannaish tale of New World success, ‘Kantika’ is a meticulous endeavor to preserve the memories of a family, an elegy and a celebration both.” — Ayten Tartici, New York Times, April 2023

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