The Schmooze

A Novel About Early Childhood

Earlier this week, Sami Rohr Prize winner Austin Ratner discussed the land of the living versus the land of “The Princess Bride.” His blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:


Some academics have observed that young Jewish writers do not mine their personal lives for material in the same way that Jewish writers did a generation ago. In my own case, this is and isn’t true. My first novel, “The Jump Artist,” was based on someone else’s life and took place in lands and days disparate from my own. My second novel, “In the Land of the Living,” which is being released by Little Brown this week, draws on my own personal experiences and on events in the history of my own family. It’s first and foremost about loss at a tender age, and finding your way out from under the pall of grief, back to the land of the living, and to all that makes life worth living. (Why am I not on Oprah’s book list?)

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A Novel About Early Childhood

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