POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – German-born author Kevin Vennemann will read from and discuss his Holocaust-era novella from 2005 Nahe Jedenew (later republished in English as Close to Jedenew) on Thursday, March 31 at 7:00 pm in the Jewett House lounge. Vassar alumnus Ross Benjamin translated the English-language edition and will join the discussion. This event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the German Studies program, the History and English departments, and the programs in French and Francophone Studies, Russian Studies, and Jewish Studies.
Close to Jedenew ”begins like a classic German fable,” wrote Melville House, when it published the book’s English edition in 2008. “Children from the rural village of Jedenew, Poland, get together late at night to play together in the dark woods. But their game is to pretend they live in the imaginary world of the Jedenew that came before them -- when it wasn't occupied by the Nazis, and their Jewish friends weren't mysteriously disappearing one by one. This innovative simultaneous plot -- consisting of the real and imaginative world of the children -- has earned comparison to the piercing analogies of Kafka.”
About Kevin Vennemann
Kevin Vennemann has also published the novel Mara Kogoj (2007). He writes radio essays and features for German public radio, edited a volume of Else Lasker-Schüler's works, and forthcoming in early 2012 will be his book long essay on Los Angeles and the rise and fall of the modern city. Vennemann now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
About Ross Benjamin
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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.