If Salt Has Memory explores exile in the modern Jewish world. The book is not directly connected to the Holocaust, but reflects another layer of Jewish exile among those who had to leave their homes for political or literary reasons. In many cases, however, the book gives voice to those who had to leave in the face of ethnic cleansing.
If Salt Has Memory comprises essays, memoir and fiction by Jewish writers in exile from many lands — contributors include the former leader of the Tupamaros guerrillas in Uruguay, a philosopher from Tunisia, a playwright from Zimbabwe, and writers from Yemen, Libya, Bosnia, Cuba. Poland, Ethiopia, Turkey, Hungary and South Africa. Jewish writers in exile from Iraq, Iran and South America are well represented. Many of the essays appear in English for the first time.
Contributors include Andre Aciman (author of Out of Egypt); Eli Amir (Farewell, Baghdad); Ariel Dorfman (Death and the Maiden); Moris Farhi (Children of the Rainbow); Nairn Kattan (Farewell Babylon); Sami Michael (Trumpet in the Wadi); Gillian Slovo (author of the Orange Prize short-listed Ice Road); George Szirtes (winner of the TS Eliot prize for poetry); Albert Memmi (The Colonizer and the Colonized). Many other contributors are also well known internationally, writing in English, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish and other languages.
Jennifer Langer established Exiled Writers Ink – the organisation of refugee writers, based in London. She is the daughter of refugee parents and the editor of three previous Five Leaves collections by refugee and exiled writers.