Important note: This is an IN-PERSON event! It will not be available on Zoom.

Elizabeth Graver Presents a Jewish Book Council Author Talk on Her Novel Kantika

Thursday, December 7 at 11am at FJC, 7 Hatchville Road

In-Person! | Free and Open to the public | RSVP required:

Or email

Book sales by Eight Cousins Bookshop

On Thursday, December 7 at 11am, Falmouth Jewish Congregation will host a Jewish Book Council author talk by Elizabeth Graver on her novel Kantika, a dazzling Sephardic multigenerational saga that moves from Istanbul to Barcelona, Havana, and New York, exploring displacement, endurance, and family as home. This event is free and is taking place in-person only. Advance registration is required. Register at or send an email to Falmouth-based independent bookseller Eight Cousins is handling book sales at the event.

Kantika, a New York Times Notable Book of 2023 and an NPR Best Book of the Year, was inspired by the migration story of her Turkish Sephardic grand­moth­er. The story opens in Con­stan­tino­ple in 1907 and spans five decades, mak­ing stops in Barcelona and Havana but ulti­mate­ly end­ing in New York City in 1950. While mod­ern Jews every­where are suf­fer­ing from the effects of two World Wars, it’s also a peri­od of great upheaval for Sephardic Jews in Islam­ic lands — in this case, Turkey.

Through the spe­cif­ic expe­ri­ences of the Cohen/​Levy fam­i­ly, we become immersed in their lives as we learn about the tri­als and tribu­la­tions shared by this gen­er­a­tion of Jews: emi­gra­tion and immi­gra­tion, loss, nos­tal­gia, sep­a­ra­tion from fam­i­ly, war, and finan­cial loss and inse­cu­ri­ty. But we also bear wit­ness to the inti­mate and small joys that are found in dai­ly liv­ing, faith, work, friend­ship, and life-cycle events.

Kan­ti­ka is Graver’s fifth novel. Her nov­el The End of the Point was long-list­ed for the 2013 Nation­al Book Award and select­ed as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her oth­er nov­els are AwakeThe Hon­ey Thief, and Unrav­el­ling. Her sto­ry col­lec­tion, Have You Seen Me?, won the 1991 Drue Heinz Lit­er­a­ture Prize. Her work has been anthol­o­gized in Best Amer­i­can Short Sto­riesBest Amer­i­can Essays, and Prize Sto­ries, the O. Hen­ry Awards.

The next event in the series is an in-person talk by author and veterinarian Karen Fine on her book The Other Family Doctor on Thursday, January 11 at 11am.