Ruins are always more than just ruins. They serve as a poetic reminder of the ruthlessness of time and of the futility of all human endeavor. But they also possess a dark allure—freeing us to connect to our deep desires and at times even serving as an arena of spiritual epiphany. During this lecture, Israeli-American author and educator Ruby Namdar will read a selection of ancient Hebrew and Persian texts—excerpts from the Talmud and from Medieval Sufi poetry—that celebrate the ruin in all its tragic glory.

Ruby Namdar is an Israeli-American author born and raised in Jerusalem to a family of Iranian-Jewish heritage. His novel The Ruined House (2013) won the Sapir Prize, Israel’s most prestigious literary award. The English edition of The Ruined House (translated by Hillel Halkin) was published in the US by Harper Collins in November 2017. The French edition of the novel (translated by Sarah Tardy) was published in September 2018 by Belfond, and was nominated for the Prix du premier roman étranger 2018. He currently lives in NYC with his wife and two daughters, and he teaches Jewish literature, focusing on Biblical and Talmudic narrative.

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