Rhea Tregebov Discusses her Historical Novel Rue des Rosiers
Thursday, September 30th, 2021 from 10:00 to 11:00 am Pacific Time
Rhea Tregebov is the author of two award-winning novels, Rue des Rosiers and The Knife-Sharpener’s Bell. She has published seven critically acclaimed books of poetry, most recently All Souls’. Her poems have earned the Pat Lowther Award, Prairie Schooner Readers’ Choice Award, and the Malahat Review Long Poem Award. She is also a celebrated author of children’s picture books. Born in Saskatoon and raised in Winnipeg, Tregebov worked for many years as a freelance writer and editor in Toronto. From 2004 to 2017 she was a professor in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Now an Associate Professor Emerita at UBC, Tregebov continues to live and write in Vancouver.
Rhea Tregebov’s 2019 novel, Rue des Rosiers, won the Western Canada Jewish Book Awards’ Nancy Richler Memorial Prize for Fiction. Rue des Rosiers was also short-listed for the BC/Yukon Book Prize and has received critical acclaim from its reviewers: “Rue des Rosiers is not just an exemplary novel, it’s also an important book that examines anti-Semitism and empathetically puts faces on the victims and aggressors…. [a] richly-layered story.” Rue des Rosiers is an engrossing historical coming-of-age story with a timely examination of hatred’s long consequences. The novel is set in Toronto, Winnipeg and Paris in the spring and summer of 1982. Tregebov offers a moving interrogation of how we find our own and others’ humanity – even when confronted with prejudice and terror. Rue des Rosiers is filled with rich resonances to modern discord, offering insights on how to live courageously in the face of today’s growing levels of hatred.
The novel contains a fictionalized account of an historical terrorist event, the August 9, 1982 attack on the Goldenberg Deli on rue des Rosiers in Paris, in which 26 innocent civilians were killed. This long-ago attack has chillingly current repercussions, with new arrests made in the fall of 2020, and revelations over the past months into the complicity of the French government of the time in not pursuing the investigation.
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