The history of Nicole Krauss

An excerpt from an interview with the celebrated author, reflecting on her past relationship with Israel.

By
May 13, 2010 11:24
2 minute read.
Nicole Krauss.

NicoleKrauss311. (photo credit: Debbi Cooper.)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

"Tell me that’s not a cellphone," says Nicole Krauss, the acclaimed author of The History of Love, who has come here for the International Writers’ Festival.

She’s talking about a tinny version of the theme from Exodus which fills the air as we sit on the balcony of the restaurant at Mishkenot Sha’ananim in Jerusalem. Krauss, born and raised in New York, lives in Brooklyn and is married to another prominent writer, Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of Everything Is Illuminated, who is also taking part in the festival.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


As we listen to the Exodus music, it soon becomes clear: It is indeed a ring tone from one of the other tables. Krauss, 36, laughs, and gets back to explaining her complex relationship to this country, one that goes much deeper than that of most American Jews who fly in to see the Western Wall.

She has a brother who lives here, as well as maternal grandparents from Britain who made aliya and lived in Jerusalem. Her father spent years here as a child, while his father ran a branch of the Bulova company in Tel Aviv. Her parents actually met here, at a conference at the Knesset, and married here, although they then moved to the US.

“We visited every year when I was growing up,” she recalls. “I remember it as a place where we would see my grandparents. I would go to the shuk with my grandmother.”


But a deeper interest in the country has been a relatively recent development in her life. “As a younger person, I wasn’t so interested in concentrating on or exploring Judaism. But inevitably, you begin to ask, who am I? There was a wealth of feeling and desire caught up in that question, and I began to ask what it is to be a Jew. And around then, my idea of Israel began to change. It wasn’t just a place I came with my family, to see my grandparents. It was something to argue with, working in all the contradictions, and it became something to work against. Not just beautiful klezmer music,” she says, gesturing to the table with the Exodus ring tone.

While many artists who take part in festivals here come for whirlwind visits, she, Foer and their two children will be staying for several months. It will be part of a writers’ residency, based on the program of the American Academy in Rome and Berlin, in which artists and scholars spend time living and working abroad.



Although they are starting out at the festival in Jerusalem, they will be spending time in Tel Aviv as well. “This experience will be a gate into the life of the city, and ideally it becomes part of your work,” she says.

The full interview with Nicole Krauss will appear in this Friday's issue of The Jerusalem Post Magazine.

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA