At 102, Epic Novelist Herman Wouk Looks Back On A Life Well Lived by the Forward

At 102, Epic Novelist Herman Wouk Looks Back On A Life Well Lived

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For Herman Wouk, who turned 102 in May, the “main task” of his life has been using his novels to teach readers about history.

“To, so far as I could, fix down in literature what happened in World War II and the Holocaust,” he told CBS Sunday Morning. “That was my main task.”

Wouk, who was born in the Bronx, got his start as a comedy writer. He credits his Navy service with transforming his writing style and interests. His 1951 Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Caine Mutiny” grew out of his experiences as a Navy officer.

One of Wouk’s most famous novels, “War and Remembrance,” the centerpiece of a trilogy about World War II, was set partially in Auschwitz. The TV miniseries based on the novel, which Wouk also wrote, was shot on location at Auschwitz-Birkenau — the first commercial movie to film there.

Wouk, who published his latest novel in 2012, still writes in his diary every day.

Contact Ari Feldman at or on Twitter @aefeldman.


Ari Feldman

Ari Feldman

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. He covers Jewish religious organizations, synagogue life, anti-Semitism and the Orthodox world. If you have any tips, you can email him at Follow him on Twitter @aefeldman.

Herman Wouk, 102-Year-Old Novelist, Looks Back At Life

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At 102, Epic Novelist Herman Wouk Looks Back On A Life Well Lived

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