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David Grossman  [ Israel ]

Biography

David Grossman Portrait
© Hartwig Klappert

Guest 2007.

Bibliography

Ein spätes Duell
Carlsen 
Hamburg, 1990 
[Ü: Mirjam Pressler]

Der gelbe Wind
Droemer Knaur
München, 1990
[Ü: Jürgen Benz]

Joram wünscht sich was
Carlsen 
Hamburg, 1990 
[Ü: Mirjam Pressler]

Momik, das bin auch ich
Hanser 
München, 1990
[Ü: Mirjam Pressler]

The book of intimate grammar
Farrar, Straus, Giroux
New York, 1994
[Ü: Betsy Rosenberg]

Der Kindheitserfinder
dtv
München, 1996
[Ü: Judith Brüll]

Sei du mir das Messer 
Hanser 
München, 1999
[Ü: Vera Loos und Naomi Nir-Bleimling]

Eine offene Rechnung
Hanser 
München, 2000
[Ü: Mirjam Pressler]

Death as way of life
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
New York, 2003
[Ü: Haim Watzman]

Diesen Krieg kann keiner gewinnen
Hanser
München, Wien, 2003
[Ü: Ruth Achlama et al.]

Stichwort: Liebe
Fischer
Frankfurt/Main, 2004
[Ü: Judith Brüll]

Das Gedächtnis der Haut
Hanser
München, Wien, 2004
[Ü: Vera Loos, Naomi Nir-Bleimling]

Das Lächeln des Lammes
Fischer
Frankfurt/Main, 2005
[Ü: Judith Brüll]

Zickzackkind
dtv
München, 2005
[Ü: Vera Loos, Naomi Nir-Bleimling]

Wohin du mich führst
dtv
München, 2005
[Ü: Vera Loos, Naomi Nir-Bleimling]

Löwenhonig
Berlin Verlag
Berlin, 2006
[Ü: Vera Loos, Naomi Nir-Bleimling]

Übersetzer: Jürgen Benz, Judith Brüll, Vera Loos, Naomi Nir-Bleimling, Mirjam Pressler, Betsy Rosenberg, Haim Watzman

David Grossman was born in Jerusalem in 1954. He began making youth broadcasts for Radio Israel at the age of ten, and continued to work for the organisation until 1989 as a news editor, author of radio plays and announcer. Following his military service Grossman studied Philosophy and theatre at the Hebrew University. His first stories already focused on two themes which were to persist throughout his work: coming of age and the war and violence which mark everyday life in Israel. Since then Grossman has published a large number of novels, short stories, plays for radio and theatre (some for children), non-fiction books and newspaper articles. He is a leading Israeli writer of his generation and an omnipresent advocate for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
Grossman's first novel, »Hiyukh Ha-Gedi« (1983; Eng. »The Smile of the Lamb«, 1991), made into a film two years later, focuses on the occupation of the West Bank while his collection of reportages, »Ha-Zeman Ha-Tzahov« (1987; Eng. »The Yellow Wind«, 1988) documents individual cases in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since the Oslo Peace Agreement in 1993 Grossman has published numerous articles in American and European journals, a selection of which was published entitled »Mavet Kederech Chaim« (2003; Eng. »Death as a Way of Life«, 2003). That same year the Geneva Initiative – an action group which he co-founded – made its model for lasting peace public. Shortly after the death of his son Uri who was a soldier in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon Conflict, Grossman – in the presence of Prime Minister Olmert – made an appeal to turn away from the current politics of violence and mistrust.
As the author stated in a talk at the Jerusalem Book Fair, literature makes a crucial contribution to overcoming the conflict: »Writing in such a violent reality is a constant attempt to redeem individuality, to reclaim the uniqueness of the individual, in a situation that blurs the uniqueness and the nuance. When we write here we manage to experience the almost forgotten flexibility of a change of perspective; of looking at reality from somebody else's eyes, sometimes even the eyes of our enemy.« His craft, to touchingly portray the fate of individuals and to fuse different planes of reality, is often apparent in Grossman’s novels, in which the boundaries between literature for young people and adults are blurred. In »Ajien Erech: Ahavah« (1986; Eng. »See under: Love«, 1990) the voices of four narrators revolve around a child's search to come to terms with the Holocaust which has marked his life, even though he himself did not experience it. »Yesh Yeladim Zigzag« (1994; Eng. »The ZigZag Kid«, 1997) tells the story of a young man in search of his family's secret, in which process he also finds himself. Most recently he published »Dvash Araiot« (2005; Eng. »Lion's Honey«, 2006) a new interpretation of the myth of Samson which highlights not the legendary strength of the figure but rather his weakness.
Grossman has been awarded numerous literary prizes for his work, such as the Valumbrosa Prize, the Premio Grinzane, the Nelly Sachs Prize, the Premio Mondelo, the Vittorio de Sica Prize, the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation, the Juliet Club Prize, the Buxtehuder Bulle, the Manés Sperber Prize and the Sapir Prize. For his political commitment he has received the Har Zion Prize. In 1998 he was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in a suburb of Jerusalem.

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