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The Department of Missing Persons

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Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall

Columbia University

515 West 116th Street

New York, NY 10027

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Ruth Zylberman talks about La Direction de l’absent, her debut novel about how the memory of Holocaust still haunts Paris, being published in English translation as The Department of Missing Persons. Thirty-six years after her mother was liberated from Bergen-Belsen, the novel’s unnamed narrator lives a comfortable life in Paris. Her mother sees ghosts at every turn, but she cannot reconcile her mother's trauma to the cheery bustle of daily life that surrounds them. A letter arrives from the Department of Missing Persons suggesting that the narrator’s grandfather is still alive. She and her mother begin a desperate hunt to find the truth and rid them both of their lingering ghosts.

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Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall

Columbia University

515 West 116th Street

New York, NY 10027

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