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Emil Draitser in conversation with Vladislav Davidzon

October 11, 2020 @ 2:00 pm3:30 pm

Professor Emeritus of Russian Emil Draitser, Hunter College in NYC, in conversation with Vladislav Davidzon, founder of The Odessa Review, will discuss his autobiographical novel Farewell, Mama Odessa, which tells the story of people fleeing the Soviet Union in the 1970s, at the height of the Soviet Jewry movement in America.

Author Event: Emil Draitser


Time: Oct 11, 2020; 11:00 AM Pacific Time; 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 826 1323 3569

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Meeting ID: 826 1323 3569

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Set in the summer of 1979 at the height of the movement to free Soviet Jewry, the book’s intertwined storylines follow a variety of people—dissidents, victims of ethnic discrimination, and black marketeers among them—as they bid farewell to their beloved hometown of Odessa, Ukraine, and make their way to the West.

At the book’s center is Boris, a young writer thwarted by state censorship and antisemitism. With an Angora kitten for his companion and together with other émigrés, he puts the old country in his rear-view mirror and sets out on a journey that will take him to Bratislava, Vienna, Rome, and New York on his way to Los Angeles.

Will Boris be able to rekindle his creative passion and inspiration in the West? Will other Jewish émigrés fit into the new society, so much different than the one they left behind? With humor and compassion, Farewell, Mama Odessa describes the émigrés’ attempts at adjustment to the free world.


October 11, 2020
2:00 pm–3:30 pm

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