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The NY Public Library Honors Primo Levi’s Centenary with Day-Long Reading

Over thirty participants will come together from noon to 8 pm on June 12, to read chapters of his seminal work, If This Is a Man

Primo Levi (1960), Wikipedia.

If This Is a Man (also known as Survival in Auschwitz) was published in 1947, only three years after Levi’s liberation. At first the book faced modest sales, yet ten years later, when it was re-published, his first-hand account of survival was embraced by an international audience. To honor this, the Library has brought together authors, artists, and scholars from across the world to pay tribute to Levi.

To commemorate the centennial of author Primo Levi, The New York Public Library will host a full-length recitation of his seminal work, If This Is a Man, the unsparing account of Levi’s 11 months of internment in Auschwitz. Organized through a collaboration between the Italian Cultural Institute, The New York Public Library, and Centro Primo Levi New York, the event will be held at the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Over thirty participants will come together from noon to 8 pm on June 12, to read chapters aloud in twenty of the many languages into which Levi’s work has been translated.

If This Is a Man (also known as Survival in Auschwitz) was published in 1947, only three years after Levi’s liberation. At first the book faced modest sales, yet ten years later, when it was re-published, his first-hand account of survival was embraced by an international audience. To honor this, the Library has brought together authors, artists, and scholars from across the world to pay tribute to Levi. The readers are as follows:

Waleed Alhariri – Arabic

So Hyun Bae -Korean

Debora Balardini -Portuguese

Clémence Bouloque -French

Fatma Bucak -Turkish

Roger Cohen -English

Michael Frank -English

Jonathan Galassi -English

Alma Guillermoprieto- Spanish

Frank Hentschter -German

Vít Hořejš -Czech

Sherrilyn Ifill -English

Revital Iyov -Hebrew

Momoyo Kitaura -Japanese

Nicole Krauss -English

Stella Levi -Italian

Elidor Mëhilli -Albanian

Erin Mizrahi -English

Sam Norich -English

Azra Raza -English

Salvatore Scibona -English

Parul Sehgal -English

Mark Shapiro -English

Heli Sirviö -Finnish

Yuriy Tarnawsky -Ukrainian

Magda Teter -Polish

Jordi Torrent -Catalan

Kirmen Uribe- Basque

Amir Vahab -Farsi

Liselot Van Heijden -Dutch

Lara Vapnyar -Russian

Aleksandra Wagner -Serbian

Jeanne Marie Wasilik -English

Bob Weil -English

The annual Joy Gottesman Ungerleider Lecture has been made possible by a generous grant from the Dorot Foundation. Presented with Centro Primo Levi New York and the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, this program is held under the auspices of the Italian Committee for Primo Levi’s Centenary. We thank all institutions that helped in collecting the translations used for the reading: Centro Internazionale di Studi Primo Levi, Turin, Gjovalin Rakaj, Agra Publications, Editura Art, Romanian Cultural Institute, Wydawnictwo Literackie, Gummerus Publishers, Grup 62, W.W. Norton, The New York Public Library, California State Library, Queens Library.

PRESS CONTACT:

Sara Beth Joren, sarabethjoren@nypl.org

About The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.

About the Italian Cultural Institute of New York
Founded in 1961, the Italian Cultural Institute of New York is an office of the Italian government, dedicated to the promotion of Italian language and culture in the United States to fostering cultural exchange between Italy and the US in a variety of areas, from the arts to the humanities to science. The ICI’s interdisciplinary scope spans across visual arts, books, academic programs, music, dance, cinema, theater, architecture, literature, philosophy, technology, and sciences. www.iicnewyork.esteri.it/iic_newyork/en/

About Centro Primo Levi New York

Since 1998, Centro Primo Levi New York has offered a platform to new readings of Primo Levi’s work.This June, jointly with the Italian Cultural Institute, it will open Levi’s 100th Anniversary with a lecture by Indian novelist and essayist Pankaj Mishra on The Drowned and the Saved. The Center’s activities include programs, seminars, and publications on the experience and perspective of the Italian Jewish minority and its relation with the mainstream in ancient and modern societies. www.primolevicenter.org

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