The Festival is pleased to again host the presentation of the annual Chicago Tribune Literary Prize. The prize is part of the Chicago Tribune’s ongoing dedication to reading, writing, and ideas.
“Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.” With those words, Elie Wiesel has brought generations of readers into one of the 20th century’s gravest tragedies. Night is Wiesel’s powerful and haunting telling of his experiences in the Holocaust camps of World War II—he survived; his parents and one of his sisters did not. Although his spare, poetic language urges contemplation, a space to consider these nearly unimaginable horrors, Wiesel’s vision for humanity is far from bleak. Since the publication of Night in 1960, Wiesel, a Romanian Jew born in 1928, has been tireless in his literary and human rights activities. He is founder, along with his wife Marion, of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, an organization dedicated to combating indifference and intolerance, and promoting justice through international dialogue. “The world does not stop with Night . . . some worlds were shattered . . . but life does continue, if not what would we do here?” Wiesel has said. It’s with this profound commitment to humanity that Wiesel has persevered. He is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University and has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the US Congressional Gold Medal, the National Humanities Medal, the Medal of Liberty, and the rank of Grand-Croix in the French Legion of Honor and, in 1986, the Nobel Prize for Peace.
This program is presented in partnership with the Chicago Tribune's Printers Row Live! Series.
Photo Credit: Sergey Bermenie