Deutsches Haus at NYU and the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU present a reading by the author Nora Krug from her recent graphic memoir Belonging followed by a conversation between her and the writer and editor Nicole Rudick.
About the book:
Nora Krug was born decades after the fall of the Nazi regime, but the Second World War cast a long shadow throughout her childhood and youth in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany. For Nora, the simple fact of her German citizenship bound her to the Holocaust and its unspeakable atrocities and left her without a sense of cultural belonging. Yet Nora knew little about her own family’s involvement in the war: though all four grandparents lived through the war, they never spoke of it. Now in her late thirties, after almost twenty years of living abroad (first in the UK, then in the U.S.), Krug realizes that living away from Germany has only intensified her need to ask the questions she didn’t dare, or didn’t think to ask a child and young adult. Returning to Germany, she visits archives, conducts research, and interviews family members, uncovering in the process the stories of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in Karlsruhe during the war, and her father’s brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS soldier in Italy. Her extraordinary quest, spanning continents and generations, pieces together her family’s troubling story and reflects on what it means to be a German of her generation. Belonging wrestles with the idea of Heimat, the German word for the place that first forms us, where the sensibilities and identity of one generation pass on to the next. In this highly inventive visual memoir—equal parts graphic novel, family scrapbook, and investigative narrative—Nora Krug draws on letters, archival material, flea market finds, and photographs to attempt to understand what it means to belong. A wholly original record of a German woman’s struggle with the weight of catastrophic history, Belonging is also a reflection on the responsibility that we all have as inheritors of our countries’ pasts.
About the panelists:
Nora Krug is a German-American author and illustrator whose drawings and visual narratives have appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde diplomatique and A Public Space, and in anthologies published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Simon and Schuster and Chronicle Books. Krug is a recipient of fellowships from Fulbright, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Maurice Sendak Foundation, and the German Academic Exchange Service. Her books are included in the Library of Congress and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University. Her illustrations have been recognized with three gold medals from the Society of Illustrators and a silver cube from the New York Art Directors Club, and her visual biography, Kamikaze, about a surviving Japanese WWII pilot, was included in Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Comics and Best Non-Required Reading. Krug’s work has been exhibited internationally, and her animations were shown at the Sundance Film Festival. She is the author of the visual memoir Belonging (foreign edition title Heimat), about WWII and her own German family history. Krug is an associate professor in the Illustration Program at the Parsons School of Design in New York
Nicole Rudick is a New York–based writer and editor. Her writing has appeared in a number of books, including What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present (RISD Museum of Art) and Return of the Repressed: Destroy All Monsters 1973–1977 (PictureBox), and in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Artforum, Boston Review, and Hyperallergic. She was the managing editor of The Paris Review from 2010 to 2018 and was editor of the Spring and Summer 2018 issues and A Writer's Chapbook: A Compendium of Fact, Opinion, Wit, and Advice from “The Paris Review” Interviews.
Events at Deutsches Haus are free of charge. If you would like to attend this event, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event. Thank you!
""Belonging:" A Conversation between Nora Krug and Nicole Rudick" is a DAAD-supported event.