Book Talk: Austerity Baby at The Wiener Library

The Wiener Library
29 Russell Square
Event time
6:30pm - 8:00pm
15 Nov 2018

This talk will be a presentation of and reading from, Janet Wolff’s recently published book, Austerity Baby.

The book is best described as an oblique memoir. It is essentially a family history, but one that is digressive in many ways. The central underlying and repeated themes of the book are exile and displacement; lives (and deaths) during the Third Reich; mother-daughter and sibling relationships; the generational transmission of trauma and experience; transatlantic reflections; and the struggle for creative expression. Other stories are told in the course of the narrative include the internment of aliens in Britain in 1940; cultural life in Rochester, New York in the 1920s; the social and personal meanings of colour(s); reflections on the lives and images of spinsters.

There are two hundred colour images in the book (photographs, paintings, facsimile documents), some of which will be included in the presentation.


  • An accessible toilet is available in the basement and can be reached via the lift.
  • For visitors with hearing impairment, an induction loop in the exhibition area and the Wolfson Reading Room is compatible with T-coil equipped hearing aids.
  • We welcome Guide and Assistance dogs in the exhibition area and the Wolfson Reading Room.
  • If you have any comments, questions, or concerns regarding accessibility at the Library, please email us at or call us at +44 (0) 20 7636 7247.