Between the Lines: Professor Schiff’s Guilt

By :  Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Dec 12, 2023 / 5784 | Author Conversations: Between the Lines Library Programs

Part of Between the Lines: Author Conversations from The Library of JTS

Israeli author Agur Schiff discusses his novel Professor Schiff’s Guilt. In this gripping story, an Israeli professor travels to a fictitious West African nation to trace a slave-trading ancestor, only to be imprisoned under a new law barring successive generations from profiting off the proceeds of slavery. But before leaving Tel Aviv, the protagonist falls in love with Lucile, a mysterious African migrant worker who cleans his house. This satire of contemporary attitudes toward racism and colonialism examines economic inequality and the global refugee crisis, as well as the memory of transatlantic chattel slavery and the Holocaust. 



Agur Schiff, born in 1955 in Tel Aviv, is a graduate of Saint Martin’s School of Art in London and the Rijks Art Academy in Amsterdam. He has worked as a filmmaker, started writing fiction in the early 1990s, and has published two short story collections and six novels. Schiff is professor emeritus at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.