Maya Arad is the author of eleven books of Hebrew fiction, as well as studies in literary criticism and linguistics. Born in Israel in 1971, she received a PhD in linguistics from University College London and for the past twenty years has lived in California where she is currently writer in residence at Stanford University’s Taube Center for Jewish Studies.
Sholom Aleichem (1859–1916), one of the fathers of modern Yiddish literature, was born Shalom Rabinovitz in Pereiaslav, in what is now Ukraine. He began his literary career writing in Hebrew and Russian and published his first work in Yiddish under his pen name in 1883. He went on to publish his fiction in newspapers as he moved from Kyiv to New York City to Geneva, as well as in books including Stempenyu: A Jewish Novel and The Adventures of Menahem-Mendl. In 1894, he published Tevye the Dairyman, which would be adapted seven decades later into the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof.
Teffi (1872 – 1952) was the pseudonym of Nedezhda Buchinskaya née Lokhvitskaya. She was a humorist and mainstay of the satirical magazine Satiricon. She left Russia after the October Revolution of 1917, going first to Istanbul, then Paris, where she settled until the end of her life. Teffi was prolific and published many stories in émigré journals as well as being an accomplished memoirist.
Irène Némirovsky (1903-1942) was born in Kiev into a Jewish banking family. Following the Bolshevik Revolution, she moved to France and wrote in French. Némirovsky was baptized as a Catholic in 1939, three years before her arrest and deportation to Auschwitz where she died. Her best-known novel, Suite Française, was published posthumously and translated into English by Sandra Smith.
Dana Shem-Ur lived in Paris for three years and obtained a master’s degree in philosophy from the École Normale Supérieure. She is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Tel Aviv University who translates from French, Italian, and Chinese into Hebrew.
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.
Stênio Gardel was born in 1980 in the rural northeast of Brazil. The Words That Remain is his first novel.
Carlos Fuentes (1928–2012) was one of the principal voices of the “Boom,” the period in 1960s and 1970s when Latin American writers such as Gabriel García Márquez and Julio Cortázar came to global prominence. Born in Panama City into a Mexican diplomatic family, Fuentes published his first novel Where the Air Is Clear in 1958 to immediate acclaim. He received many honors, including the Xavier Villaurrutia Award, the Rómulo Gallegos Prize, the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, and the Belisario Domínguez Medal of Honor.
Manuel Astur is a Spanish author and journalist selected as “One of the Ten Most Interesting New Voices in Europe” by a European Union literary project. He has written novels, short story collections, and poetry, and teaches literature at the Escuela de Letras de Gijón.
Pierre Le-Tan was an internationally renowned French illustrator who designed whimsical and stylish covers for The New Yorker and images for other magazines including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as book covers for works by his friend Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano. Le-Tan died in 2019 at age sixty-nine. A year and a half later, over four hundred objects that filled his Paris apartment, a high-ceilinged cabinet of curiosities on the Place du Palais-Bourbon, were auctioned off to passionate admirers of his taste.
Walter Kappacher, born in 1938, is an Austrian novelist who has won many German language literary awards including the prestigious Georg Büchner Prize. He has written short stories and novels as well as radio and screenplays, and lives near Salzburg.
JAMES JOYCE (1882–1941) became one of the most influential authors of the twentieth century with just four books of fiction, including the modernist masterpiece Ulysses (1922), along with two poetry collections and a play, Exiles (1918). Joyce’s early life, described in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), sunk rapidly from luxury to relative squalor. Though he left Dublin in 1902 for a series of European cities, only returning three times between 1904 and 1912, his fiction was never set anywhere else.
Hans von Trotha is a German historian, novelist and journalist who spent ten years as editorial director of the Nicolai publishing house in Berlin.
Pauline Baer de Perignon has co-authored film scripts and directed writing workshops in Paris where she lives. The Vanished Collection
Marina Jarre (1925-2016) was born in Riga to a Latvian Jewish father and an Italian Protestant mother. She spent her childhood in Latvia until 1935, when her parents separated and she moved to Italy to live with her maternal grandparents, among devout, French-speaking Protestants in a community southwest of Turin. Jarre wrote over a dozen novels, short story collections and nonfiction works. Cultural identity, personal character, psychology, and autobiographical themes are central elements of her writing.
Faysal Khartash, a winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Prize for Arabic Literature, is a leading Syrian author. He lives in his native Aleppo, has written several novels and works as a schoolteacher while contributing to Syrian newspapers.
Thomas Mann (1875–1955) was among the most renowned novelists of the twentieth century and received the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature. His first novel, Buddenbrooks, was published in 1901 and found great success in Germany. Mann, however, was deprived of German citizenship in 1936 by the Nazi regime and eventually sought refuge in the United States before living his final years in Switzerland.
Anna Goldenberg, born in 1989 in Vienna, studied psychology at the University of Cambridge and journalism at Columbia University. She worked at the Jewish newspaper The Forward in New York before returning to Vienna where she now contributes to various newspapers.
Lea Singer is a German cultural historian and a novelist who uses a pseudonym for her fictional works. Under her legal name of Eva Gesine Baur, she has authored biographies of Frédéric Chopin and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. She has also written novels inspired by the lives of pianist Paul Wittgenstein and painter Caspar David Friedrich.
Karl Ove Knausgaard is a Norwegian author best known for a six-volume autobiographical novel, My Struggle.
Yair Assulin, born in 1986, studied philosophy and history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Drive is the first of two novels he has written and for which he won Israel’s Ministry of Culture Prize and the Sapir Prize for debut fiction. He has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for authors, writes a weekly column in the newspaper Haaretz and has been a visiting lecturer in Jewish Studies at Yale.
Adrien Goetz is a novelist who teaches art history at the Sorbonne in Paris. He is editor of Grande Galerie, the quarterly magazine of the Louvre Museum.
Ronit Matalon (1959-2017) was the author of nine novels and a liberal social activist. The daughter of Egyptian immigrants to Israel, she worked as a journalist for the newspaper Haaretz and reported from the West Bank and Gaza. Her last book, And the Bride Closed the Door, was awarded Israel’s prestigious Brenner Prize, the day before Matalon’s death at age 58.
Piero Chiara (1913-1986) was a leading Italian author of the twentieth century who won over a dozen literary prizes and whose work is marked by psychological depth, melancholy humor and a grasp of the essence of everyday life. The Bishop’s Bedroom is the most celebrated of his many acclaimed novels.
Margriet de Moor made her fiction debut in 1988 after pursuing a career as a classical singer. She has written many novels including The Virtuoso, The Kreuzer Sonata, The Storm and The Duke of Egypt. Her work has been translated from Dutch into twenty-four languages.