exiled lit cafe

Exile Writers Ink in conjunction with the Ottoman Cosmopolitanism Network invite you to a free Exile Lit Cafe afternoon: ‘Memoirs in Dialogue & Oud Music’

Saturday 22nd June 2013 at 3.30pm Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX (Covent Garden tube)

Both Professor Sahar Hamouda, visiting from Egypt, and Dr Jay Prosser are writers of memoirs, but while Sahar’s memoir is set in Jerusalem from where her family had to flee, Jay’s memoir-in-progress is the narrative of Iraqi Jews who left Iraq to follow the trade routes of the British Empire.

  • Sahar and Jay will be in conversation
  • Exiled Iraqi Oud player: Ehsan Emam
  • Mint Tea and Baklava on sale in the Cafe

Hosted by Jennifer Langer, ed. If Salt has Memory: Contemporary Jewish Exiled Writing; The Silver Throat of the Moon: Writing in Exile; Crossing the Border: Voices of Exiled Women Writers, and chaired by Colette Wilson.

Sahar Hamouda’s Once Upon a Time in Jerusalem is the saga of a Palestinian family living in Jerusalem during the British mandate, and its fate in the diaspora following the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Told from the perspective of a mother and daughter, the book shows Jerusalem from a new perspective: a cosmopolitan city where people from all nations and faiths worshipped, married and lived together, until such a co-existence ended and a new order was enforced.

Jay Prosser’s memoir-in-progress, Love and Empire: A Family Story, tells the story of the diaspora of Baghdadi Jews and their subsequent sojourns, and intermarriages, in India and then in Singapore.  Using music as a key motif for capturing memory and migration, Prosser is discovering family stories that repeatedly show Jewish identity as thoroughly meshed with transcultural openness: towards Iraq, towards India and indeed towards a distant Arabian past.

For more information on the Exile Lit Cafe and Exile Writers Ink: Voices in a Strange Land, see their website.

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