All five houses of the network regard themselves as spaces of debate about the life and work of Thomas Mann.
What role does Thomas Mann’s lifelong concerns play in today’s world? In what way can the Mann family’s literature and political attitudes provoke us to think about the pressing issues of our times? Migration and exile, gender issues or political engagement and democracy are only a few of the topics that are of great relevance to the present day. Our houses regularly organize a series of digital and analog events on these topics and beyond. Visit our calendar of events and exchange ideas with us within an international context.

"Künstlers in Paradise"

Lesung und Gespräch mit Cathleen Schine & Donna Rifkind

Los Angeles

Cathleen Schine, Autorin des internationalen Bestsellers The Love Letter, hat kürzlich ihren neuen Roman Künstlers in Paradise veröffentlicht: Das von der Kritik hochgelobte Buch schildert das Leben einer österreichisch-jüdischen Familie, die 1939 aus Europa flieht und nach Los Angeles auswandert, wo sie sich mit Künstlern wie Arnold Schoenberg, Christopher Isherwood und Thomas Mann trifft. Schine wird aus ihrem Buch lesen und darüber mit Donna Rifkind, der Autorin von The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel und Hitlers Exilanten im Goldenen Zeitalter von Hollywood, sprechen.
The event will be held in English.
For years Mamie Künstler, ninety-three-years-old, as clever and glamorous as ever, has lived happily in her bungalow in Venice, California with her inscrutable housekeeper and her gigantic St. Bernard dog. Their tranquility is upended when Mamie’s grandson, Julian, arrives from New York City. Like many a twenty-something, he has come to seek his fortune in Hollywood. But it is 2020, the global pandemic sweeps in, and Julian’s short visit suddenly has no end in sight. Mamie was only eleven when the Künstlers escaped Vienna in 1939. They made their way, stunned and overwhelmed, to sunny, surreal Los Angeles where they joined a colony of distinguished Jewish musicians, writers and intellectuals also escaping Hitler. Now, faced with months of lockdown and a willing listener, Mamie begins to tell Julian the buried stories of her early years in Los Angeles: her escapades with eminent émigrés like Arnold Schoenberg, Christopher Isherwood, Thomas Mann, and Greta Garbo. While the pandemic cuts Julian off from the life he knows, Mamie’s tales open up a world of lives that came before him. They reveal to him just how much the past holds of the future.
After the reading, author Cathleen Shine & Donna Rifkind will get into a conversation about the 1940s émigré community Los Angeles.
"Schine’s delight in language is contagious—she offers up words like baubles, turning them this way and that to catch the light. . . . A paean to the regenerative power of storytelling and to Los Angeles itself."
—The New York Times
"A moving and entertaining novel about how we revisit memories to make meaning for ourselves and others. . . . Ms. Schine has a wonderful ability to weave research and substantive ideas into her novels without weighing them down. Her buoyant dialogue has the zip of great comedy routines."
—Wall Street Journal
"Künstlers in Paradise is a tender family story, but it is also a profound meditation on the nature and power of storytelling, inheritance, and legacy, the malleability and perdurability of memory."
—Boston Globe
"Dreamy, drifty, and droll, studded with lush botanical description and historical gems. Schine’s many fans will enjoy."
—Kirkus Reviews
"Reading like a cross between Leopoldstadt and Down and Out in Beverly Hills, this does the trick as an emotionally resonant meditation on family, memory, and the need for stories."
—Publishers Weekly
By invitation only.


Cathleen Schine Cathleen Schine is the author of the internationally best-selling novels The Love Letter, which was made into a movie starring Kate Capshaw, and Rameau’s Niece, which was also made into a movie (The Misadventures of Margaret), starring Parker Posey. Schine’s other novels are Alice in Bed, To the Bird House, The Evolution of Jane, She is Me, The New Yorkers, The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Fin & Lady, They May Not Mean To, But They Do, and The Grammarians. Her new novel, Künstlers in Paradise, will be published on March 14. In addition to novels she has written articles for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and The New York Times Book Review, among other publications. Her essays have been included in Best American Essays 2005, Fierce Pajamas, an Anthology of New Yorker Humor, and The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs. She grew up in Westport, Ct. And lives in Venice, California.


Donna Rifkind is a book critic and author. She has published reviews in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Her critically acclaimed book The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler's Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood tells the little-known story of screenwriter Salka Viertel and was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist. Her reviews appear frequently in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times Book Review. She has also been a contributor to The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Times Literary Supplement, The American Scholar, and many other publications. In 2006 she was a finalist for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle.
Die Veranstaltung ist nicht öffentlich zugänglich. Eine Einladung ist erforderlich.

Thomas Mann House
1550 N San Remo Dr
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

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