Lisa Appignanesi – Losing the Dead – Before and After

Event Date: 7 December 2017
German Historical Institute
17 Bloomsbury Square,
London WC1A 2NJ

European Leo Baeck Institute Lecture Series 2017-18

The Difficulties of Writing Family History

A lecture series organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London.

This season’s topic intends to discuss the challenges which arise when writing a European-Jewish family history set in the historically and politically charged period of the late 19th to the mid-20th century. What scholarly problems does a writer encounter, what emotional difficulties does an author face – especially in terms of allowing the public access to one’s own personal history, and how can these challenges be dealt with?

Lecture 1:

Professor Lisa Appignanesi (King’s College, London) – Losing the Dead – Before and After

Lisa Appignanesi teases out some of the hurdles she encountered researching her critically acclaimed family memoir, Losing the Dead. These extended post publication: memoir writing elicits the kinds of responses historical texts rarely do.

Lisa Appignanesi OBE is a writer and novelist. She is a Visiting Professor at King’s College, London, Chair of the Royal Society of Literature and Chair of this year’s Man Booker International Prize. Amongst her books are Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors and The Memory Man.

Welcome by Professor Andreas Gestrich (Director, GHIL):

Introduction by Dr Daniel Wildman (LBI):


Film : Ex Memoria, directed by Josh Appignanesi and starring Sarah Kestleman, will also be shown.

Ex Memoria from jappignanesi on Vimeo.

Ex Memoria (2006)

A film about memory, loss and survival; Eva Lipschitz is a survivor, but she is now locked away in the twilight world of Alzheimer’s disease. The film shows the world from Eva’s point of view, at her eye level, and how a chance encounter with a caring young nurse breaks through the barriers. Ex Memoria is directed by Josh Appignanesi and starring Sarah Kestleman.

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