On October 29th author Rachel Kadish and memoirist Julie Lindahl spoke about their difficult family histories, one the descendant of Holocaust survivors, the other the descendant of SS members. They talked about conversations that bridge the seeming abyss between them, about the act of writing as compulsion, catharsis and truth-telling, about family idiosyncracies that turn out to be common, and family stories history demands be told. They discussed confronting the past so that future generations would no longer feel its weight.
Kadish and Lindahl also discussed the role of the arts as a bastion against extremism. They argued that storytelling provides nuance and encourages empathy toward others which makes it harder to see only your own viewpoint. The role of artists in society is vitally important right now.
Their joint project is called Voices Between and can be found at storiesforsociety.com.
Kadish’s most recent novel is The Weight of Ink and Lindahl’s memoir is The Pendulum. This program was co-sponsored by the Department of English as part of the Visiting Distinguished Writer Series, the Jewish Studies Program, and the Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Committee.