I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Elaine Kalman Naves will be
our guest speaker at the Hungarian SIG Luncheon in NYC during the
IAJGS conference. I discovered Elaine's book Journey to Vaja:
Reconstructing the World of a Hungarian-Jewish Family several years
ago and continue to believe that it is one of the best accounts
available of Hungarian Jewish family life and the history of
Hungarian Jews. It is not only a wonderful family story but also a
well-researched account of the socio-economic and historical
conditions and events that shaped the Hungarian Jewish experience.
Elaine will talk about her life-changing journey into her family's
past to write Journey to Vaja and will speak about the experience of
tracing her family's history back to the 18th Century as both a feat
of genealogical research and a study of character across the
generations. We all talk about how important it is to record more
than names, dates, and places. Elaine's superb work exemplifies this
approach to family research.
Elaine was born in Hungary and grew up in Budapest, London, and
Montreal. She was for many years a literary columnist for the
Montreal Gazette, and is the author of five books and more than 400
articles published in a variety of periodicals. Elaine has been the
recipient of numerous literary prizes including the prestigious
Canadian Literary Award in 1998. Her memoir Journey to Vaja:
Reconstructing the World of a Hungarian-Jewish Family was the winner
of the 1998 Elie Wiesel Prize for Holocaust Literature and has been
made into a documentary film called Paradise Lost. We're hoping to
show excerpts >from the film to illustrate her presentation. Plans
are underway to also include the film among the showings at the
conference film festival.
Elaine's most recent book, Shoshanna's Story: A Mother, A Daughter,
and the Shadows of History, won the 2003 Mavis Gallant Prize and a
2005 Canadian Jewish Book Award. It has just been published in the
United States by University of Nebraska Press.
If you haven't yet registered for the H-SIG luncheon there's still
time to do so. This promises to be one of our most memorable
programs ever. Don't miss it!
Vivian Kahn, H-SIG Coordinator.