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November 12, 2007

Acclaimed Author Daniel Mendelsohn to Speak About Writing the Holocaust

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – The award-winning author of a new internationally bestselling memoir that examines the meaning of the Holocaust will speak at Smith College on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m.

Daniel Mendelsohn’s “The Lost: A Search for Six of the Six Million” was published in 2006 and has since garnered the National Jewish Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and was called “notable” by publications including The New York Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post.

His talk at Smith “’Lost’ Between Memory and History: Writing the Holocaust for the Next Generation” is free and open to the public and will be held in the Carroll Room of the Campus Center.

In “The Lost,” Mendelsohn relates the story of his worldwide travels to discover the facts about the wartime deaths of six close European relatives. His story is at once an important search for the prewar lives of the individuals and a profound reflection on family, history and memory.

In a Washington Post review of “The Lost,” Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel described the book as “a vast, highly colored tapestry...a remarkable personal narrative, rigorous in its search for truth, at once tender and exacting.”

Born on Long Island in 1960, Mendelsohn earned a bachelor’s degree in classics from the University of Virginia. He went on to receive a master’s and doctoral degree in classics in 1994 from Princeton University, where he was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities, and served as a lecturer from 1994 to 2002.

Mendelsohn began his career in journalism in New York City, and his articles, essays, reviews and translations have appeared in numerous national publications, including the New Yorker, The New York Times, New York Review of Books, The Nation, Esquire and The Paris Review.

His work is also published in anthologies such as “The Best American Travel Writing,” “Quick Studies: The Best of Lingua Franca” and “The Best American Humor.” Separately, he has authored three other acclaimed books, beginning with the 1999 publication of “The Exclusive Embrace: Desire and the Riddle of Identity,” named the New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year.

The event is part of the 2007-08 Lecture Series in Jewish Studies titled “Passages Home: Between History and Memory in Modern Jewish Culture.” It is co-sponsored by the following departments and programs at Smith: Lecture Committee, German studies, history, religion and comparative literature. Additional sponsors include: the Five College Lecture Fund; the Amherst College Department of Spanish; the University of Massachusetts Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; the Mount Holyoke Jewish Studies Program; the Hampshire College Office of the Dean of the Faculty; the Smith/Amherst Hillel; Five-College Slavic Seminar; Jewish Arts and Culture Initiative of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation; National Yiddish Book Center; Hatikvah Holocaust Education Center.

For more information about Mendelsohn, go online to


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Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
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