From Baghdad to Montreal: a Jewish writer’s
journey through identity
How can a Jew who was expelled or forced to leave the land of his
birth stay connected to his birth culture? Can a Jew also be Arab?
Naim Kattan feels he was 'born' in the three cities
he has lived in: Baghdad, Paris and Montreal. Each has added a layer
to the rich sediment of his identity and sense of belonging.
A native of Baghdad, where he attended secondary school and studied
law, Naim Kattan received a French government scholarship in 1947
to continue his studies of literature at the Sorbonne. In 1954,
he emigrated to Canada, where he took an active part in cultural
life. Novelist, essayist, short-story writer and critic, Naim Kattan
is the author of some 40 books translated into several languages.
In 2004 he was made a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur for his
contribution to francophone culture. This year, the book he is probably
best known for, Adieu Babylone, was finally issued in English
as Farewell Babylon.
Tuesday 6 March
Spiro Ark Centre, 25–26 Enford St, W1
7.30 for 8pm
Advance booking essential from The Spiro Ark - 020 7723 9991
here to book
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