The Austrian-British writer Jakov Lind, (born Heinz Landwirth to a Viennese Jewish family) led a wildly adventurous life of the kind which other authors, like Jerzy Kosinski, merely invented for themselves.
After the 1938 Anschluss, Lind (1927-2007) was sent on a “kindertransport” (children’s train) to Holland. There, in 1943, he went underground, posing as a Dutch laborer. To better conceal his true identity, he obtained a job for the rest of the war inside Nazi Germany as courier for the Luftwaffe.
He reached Palestine in 1946, by again lying about his identity, and from there he moved to London, where he would remain. This complex trajectory underlies the authentically harsh aggressiveness of his books, three of which have recently been reprinted: “Soul of Wood,” (NYRB Classics); “Landscape in Concrete (Open Letter Books); and “Ergo.”
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