The Yiddish Book Center's
Wexler Oral History Project
A growing collection of in-depth interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds, whose stories about the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture offer a rich and complex chronicle of Jewish identity.
Ilan Stavans's Oral History
Ilan Stavans, academic and writer, was interviewed by Lesley Yalen on May 31, 2013 at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts.
This interview was conducted in English.
Ilan Stavans was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1961.
Video highlights from this oral history
The Jewish Grandparents' Kiss in the Square of a Spanish Inquisition Burning
3 min 33 sec
Slide 1 of 15
"A Cultural Jew with Very Strong Faith Defined by Ambivalence": Ilan Stavans on His Jewish Identity
3 min 20 sec
Slide 3 of 15
"I Think I Am Here in Order to Think": Ilan Stavans on Jewishness, Mexican-ness, and the Future
6 min 28 sec
Slide 4 of 15
"Daring" to Find Out Who You Are: Ilan Stavans on Writing and Jewish Identity
1 min 57 sec
Slide 6 of 15
Yiddish to Relate to the Past: Ilan Stavans on Languages as Glasses that Change One's World View
2 min 1 sec
Slide 13 of 15