What Remains: The Suitcases of Charles F. at Willard State Hospital

Ilan Stavans (Text by (Art/Photo Books)) Jon Crispin (Photographer)

Product Details

$26.95  $24.79
Excelsior Editions/State University of New Yo
Publish Date
July 01, 2020
9.9 X 8.0 X 0.3 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College and the author of many books, including Borges, the Jew and On Self-Translation: Meditations on Language, both also published by SUNY Press. Jon Crispin is a photographer living in Pelham, Massachusetts.


"In What Remains, Stavans opens the suitcase of a bereft, abandoned man who tumbled into Willard State Hospital and never came out. Peering inside, Stavans richly imagines Charles F.'s inner life, a phantasmagoria of angels and visions, Dodgers, and Chasids, all of them gently witnessed by a soulful psychiatrist. Together, Stavans's strange tale and Crispin's gorgeous photographs make this book an exquisite delight, and a small, aching wonder." -- Esther H. Schor, author of Emma Lazarus

"What distinguished Charles F.'s life, Ilan Stavans wonders, and why was he institutionalized? In this compelling tale of Willard State Hospital, a Jewish inmate, the doctor that treated him, the family that abandoned him, and three surviving suitcases, Stavans and photographer Jon Crispin conjure up the last painful years of Charles F. and display the objects that he left behind. A poignant meditation on the indignities of aging and on becoming 'an old Jew adrift in a lost world.'" -- Jonathan D. Sarna, author of American Judaism: A History, Second Edition

"With exquisite words and piercing images, Ilan Stavans and Jon Crispin unforgettably excavate the contours of an imagined life." -- Jeremy Dauber, Columbia University