To commemorate the centennial of the author’s birth, writers, performers, and scholars gather for a multilingual, full-length reading of his seminal memoir.
“Many people—many nations—can find themselves believing, more or less consciously, that “every stranger is an enemy.””—Primo Levi, preface to If This Is a Man
In 1947, just three years after he was liberated from Auschwitz, Primo Levi published If This Is a Man, an unsparing account of his 11 months of internment in the death camp. The book had at first faced difficulty finding a publisher, and upon its initial publication, sales were modest. Yet ten years later, when it was re-published, his first-hand account of survival was embraced by an international audience.
From the afternoon into the evening, one hundred years after Levi was born in Turin, Italy, readers will gather at The New York Public Library for a full-length recitation of If This Is a Man (also known as Survival in Auschwitz), sharing chapters aloud in some of the many languages into which his indelible work has been translated around the world.