Jewish Community Center of Washington, DC

The Freedom of the Writer and the Cruelty of History: A Conversation with David Grossman, Azar Nafisi and Leon Wieseltier

Sunday, March 20, 2016
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Foundry United Methodist Church
1500 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Pre-sale tickets for this program have ended -- Tickets will be available for purchase at the Foundary United Methodist Church starting at 6:30pm.

Literature and fiction have the power to simultaneously define and transform cultures and communities. Artists and writers can serve as catalysts for conversations focused on healing using the poetry of language.

Join the DCJCC as we welcome two internationally-renowned literary luminaries as they explore and explain their personal narratives and their creative processes in their respective recent works.


david grossman headshotBorn in Jerusalem in 1954, David Grossman’s books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. He is the author of nine internationally acclaimed novels, three powerful works of non-fiction and a short story collection, as well as a number of children's books, a children's opera and a play. Grossman has been presented with numerous awards including Chevalier de l’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres (France), Prix Eliette Von Karajan (Austria),  The Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation (UK), the Buxtehuder Bulle  (Germany), the Sapir Prize (Israel), the Premio per la Pace e l'Azione Umanitaria 2006 (City of Rome/Italy), Onorificenza della Stella Solidarita Italiana 2007, Premio Ischia – International Award for Journalism 2007, the EMET Award 2007 (Israel), and the Albatros Prize, awarded by the Gunter Grass Foundation. Grossman was also the recipient of the prestigious Peace Prize of the German Booksellers Association in Frankfurt 2010 and France's Prix Medicis for translated literature in 2011, as well as the Brenner Prize (Israel) in 2012. In 2013 he received the French Point award for most beloved book by readers and critics (To the End of the Land) and the Italian Fundazione Calcari for Lifetime Achievement. His new novel, A Horse Walks Into a Bar, will be published in the U.S. in early 2017.

azar nafisiAzar Nafisi is best known as the author of the national bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which electrified its readers with a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students. Nafisi is currently the director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, where she is a professor of aesthetics, culture, and literature, and teaches courses on the relation between culture and politics. Nafisi has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Her most recent book is entitled The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books, a powerful and passionate case for the vital role of fiction in America today. 

leon wieseltier headshotLeon Wieseltier is the Isaiah Berlin Senior Fellow in Culture and Policy at the Brookings Institute. Wieseltier has a long and distinguished career as a writer, editor, and social and political commentator. From 1983 to 2014, he was the literary editor of The New Republic. He currently serves as a contributing editor and critic at The Atlantic. Over the years, he has written for such publications as Foreign Affairs, New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Dissent. Wieseltier holds a bachelor's from Columbia University and was a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. At Oxford University, he studied under Isaiah Berlin. He holds honorary doctorates from Brandeis University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and was awarded the Dan David Prize in 2013. He is the author of several books, including the widely acclaimed Kaddish (1998). Wieseltier has been the Godkin Lecturer at Harvard University, a visiting lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, the Gruss Professor in Talmudic Civil Law at Harvard Law School, and a distinguished professor of history at Johns Hopkins University.

Ticket Options:
$125 - VIP Tickets
includes premium seating and signed copies of Grossman and Nafisi's latest books
$75 - Premium Tickets includes premium seating
$35 - General Admission
$25 - DCJCC Member/EntryPointDC Young Professionals


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