How is history lived and felt—embodied—in different times and places? How does it persist as memory, an almost tactile presence just beneath the surface? In Argentine writer Andrés Neuman’s Fracture, the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster provokes a personal reckoning for a globe-trotting Japanese executive, a survivor of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Jamaican writer Curdella Forbes’s A Tall History of Sugar charts her country’s evolution from independence to today through the life of a mysterious, clairvoyant child born with translucent skin, a human palimpsest who defies racial and social categories. Meanwhile, Mozambican author Mia Couto, winner of the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, explores the final, nineteenth-century clashes of empire between Portuguese colonial forces and local rulers in The Sword and the Spear, shedding light, in the process, on Mozambique’s present legacy of violence and woe. Moderated by Rivka Galchen.
This program is part of the International Programming of the Brooklyn Book Festival, made possible with the support of public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and with special appreciation to City Council Member Stephen Levin.