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Contributor

Arnon Grunberg

Contributor

Arnon Grunberg

Arnon Grunberg (b. 1971) debuted at the age of 23 with the novel Blauwe maandagen (Blue Mondays, 1994). His next two novels, Figuranten (Silent Extras, 1997) and Fantoompijn (Phantom Pain, 2000), strengthened both the readers' and the critics' conviction that he is a great writer. Some of his other titles are De asielzoeker (The Asylum Seeker, 2003) and De joodse messias (The Jewish Messiah, 2004). Grunberg also writes plays, essays and travel columns. His work has won him several literary awards, among which the AKO Prize for Fantoompijn and De asielzoeker, and both the Libris Literature Prize and the Flemish Golden Owl for Tirza (2006), his last novel to date. Under the pseudonym Marek van der Jagt he published the successful novels De geschiedenis van mijn kaalheid (The History of my Baldness, 2000) and Gstaad 95-98 (2002). Arnon Grunberg lives and works in New York.

Articles by Arnon Grunberg

from “Tooth and Nail”
By Arnon Grunberg
When Violet tires of it, of people, of conversation, of the party, when she wants to get away without having to explain, she says: “I have to go to yoga.”There are moments when it is hard…
Translated from Dutch by Sam Garrett
What Does the Future Hold for Books in Translation?
By Arnon Grunberg
A friend invited me to go a panel with the title “What Does the Future Hold for Books in Translation?” at Melville House in Brooklyn. I had never been to Melville House. To be honest, I wasn’t…
How To Be Human*
By Arnon Grunberg
A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Chicago to meet the distinguished economist Deirdre McCloskey. The reason for the meeting was research for my new novel. I wanted to know more about economists. A…
Literature as Social Experiment
By Arnon Grunberg
A literary magazine in Romania published my nonfiction story about a group of American men who traveled to Ukraine in the hopes of finding a bride, or sex, or a combination of both. The tour was organized…
CLMP Spelling Bee
By Arnon Grunberg
My agent sent me an invitation to a fundraiser. I was in town, so I had no excuse not to go. Besides that, I'm in generally in favor of fundraisers. I would happily go to a fundraiser in support of…
The Author’s Voice and the Translator’s
By Arnon Grunberg
Recently, I traveled to Paris to assist my publisher there with the promotion of one of my novels that had been translated into French. Any excuse to visit Paris is a good excuse. It's easy to forget…
The Task of the Novelist at the University
By Arnon Grunberg
Like last year, I am going to teach two courses in the Netherlands this fall. One course is on two books by Coetzee, at the University of Leiden, and one is on genetic modification from a literary point…
Summer Jobs in Europe
By Arnon Grunberg
Since 2007, I have been doing ísummer jobsë every year. The purpose of a summer job is to earn money, obviously, but the purpose of my summer jobs has been to write about my experiences. I…
Embedded in Dutch Suburbia
By Arnon Grunberg
Suburbia is a mythical place. At least, it is if you believe quite a few novels, ranging from Updike’s Couples to Yates’ Revolutionary Road. And one could argue that Madame Bovary takes place…
The Way You Speak about a Cold
By Arnon Grunberg
Moldova is a forgotten country. Even in Europe, many people hardly know of its existence. Forgotten countries are often poor, and this is also the case with Moldova. It’s one of the poorest countries…
Reading Daniel Kehlmann
By Arnon Grunberg
Daniel Kehlmann (born in 1975) is the star of German literature. His historical novel Die Vermessung der Welt (published in the US by Vintage as Measuring the World) sold more than 1.4 million copies…
Letter from Iraq
By Arnon Grunberg
The young captain sat on his bed and sighed. íThere are not too many people around here I can talk with,ë he said. íAll the young guys talk about is women and fighting.ëThis is…
Book World
By Arnon Grunberg
Recently I had lunch with a friend of mine in Manhattan. We had not even finished our sandwiches when my friend received her first text message. Usually I find it annoying when somebody starts reading…
Everything for Literature
By Arnon Grunberg
There is a myth that journalistic endeavors interfere with the true vocation of a novelist: writing novels. I find that the opposite is true. My journalistic excursions have, if anything, enhanced my…
A Treaty of Love
By Arnon Grunberg
After my trip to Lebanon in the spring of 2007, I traveled to London to interview the Lebanese-Palestinian author Samir El-Youssef. El-Youssef has a beautiful and contagious laugh. That was the first…
My Book Party in Eupen
By Arnon Grunberg
In September my new novel was published in the Netherlands. The book launch seems to have become an inevitable part of the publication of a new book, at least in the Netherlands. A publisher in the U.S.…
Truth and War Literature
By Arnon Grunberg
As of Monday September 8, I’ve been teaching at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Not forever, thank God, just for one semester.One course that I’m teaching side-by-side with a…
Reading Gregor von Rezzori
By Arnon Grunberg
A Dutch newspaper asked me to review the recently published Dutch translation of Gregor von Rezzori’s Memoirs of an Anti-Semite. I have to admit that the name Rezzori vaguely rang a bell, but that…
Writing the Train in Switzerland
By Arnon Grunberg
Last summer, I worked for almost three weeks as a chambermaid in a family hotel in the southern part of Bavaria. I wrote about this experience in a daily column for a Dutch newspaper. Later, an extract…
The Future of Literature
By Arnon Grunberg
Two days after I left Iraq, I traveled to a small resort at the Black Sea for a writer’s conference about the future of literature. For some reason it seemed to me the right sequence: first Baghdad…
The Background Noise in Iraq
By Arnon Grunberg
Last week I was embedded with the 25th infantry division north of Baghdad in the so-called Sunni Triangle. Presently I’m in the Green Zone.A friend of mine in New York asked me to pay attention…
Dutch Translation Workshops in Italy
By Arnon Grunberg
For the last 10 days I have been touring through Italy giving workshops at universities where Dutch is being taught. I was surprised to hear that there are five Italian cities where you can study Dutch:…
Pints with Roddy Doyle
By Arnon Grunberg
The first time that I drank Guinness was also the first time that I met Roddy Doyle. It was the winter of 1997. My Dutch publisher and I had decided to meet in Dublin, which is halfway between New York…
Preparations for a Close Escape
By Arnon Grunberg
In preparation for my trip to Iraq in May, I have now met with two war correspondents. One of them is an American. We met in a bar in Brooklyn. The other is a Dutch war correspondent with whom I had dinner…
The Literature of the Future
By Arnon Grunberg
A couple of weeks ago on a cold night I walked to the Mercantile Library—for the first time in all these years that I have been living in Manhattan I have to admit—to listen to a discussion…
Embedded in Iraq
By Arnon Grunberg
While looking for something else, I recently stumbled upon Cynthia Ozick’s essay íPublic Intellectualsë in her collection Quarrel and Quandary.The essay itself is worth reading—as…
Literary Malaise
By Arnon Grunberg
Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about literary malaise, or to be more precise, we were talking about malaise in general. We reached the conclusion that there are quite a few different…
Reading Rutka Laskier
By Arnon Grunberg
From to time to time, a Dutch publisher will ask me to write a preface or an afterword to a book he plans to publish. I have written prefaces for authors as different as Machiavelli, Stendhal and Boris…
Lori Berenson
By Arnon Grunberg
In the early fall of 2006, I traveled to Peru to visit an American woman, Lori Berenson, who has been incarcerated in Peru since December 1995 on charges of terrorism. I wrote about it for a Dutch newspaper…
Maxim Biller
By Arnon Grunberg
A few weeks ago, I moderated an evening with Maxim Biller at the Goethe Institute in New York.Maxim Biller is a German author, although he was born in Prague and only moved to Germany when he was ten…
High Noon in Linz
By Arnon Grunberg
I grew up without weapons. While nobody in my family was a vegetarian—or ever thought of becoming one—I was taught that hunting was a pastime for those who despised science and art. The philosopher…
A Foot Patrol in Oruzgan, Afghanistan
By Arnon Grunberg
Recently I flew from Afghanistan to the Netherlands along with some Dutch troops going on R&R for two weeks. A day later, I traveled to Paris to promote a book. The difference could not have been…
Returning to Afghanistan
By Arnon Grunberg
While publishers, agents and some authors were heading for Frankfurt for the annual book fair I decided to return to Afghanistan—or to be more precise Oruzgan, a small province in the south—where…
Reading Bioy Casares
By Arnon Grunberg
I had never heard the name Adolfo Bioy Casares until I read a lengthy review of his diaries in Times Literary Supplement What Eckermann was to Goethe, Mr. Bioy was to Jorge Luis Borges. He aspired to…
An Author Questionnaire for “The Jewish Messiah”
By Arnon Grunberg
On the subject of “small cultural differences between the U.S. and Europe,” I'd like to say a few words about the author questionnaire.Before this summer I thought that questionnaires…
La Paz Book Fair
By Arnon Grunberg
In the middle of the summer, I traveled to the capital of Bolivia, La Paz—where it was winter—for a literary festival. The festival was part of the La Paz Book Fair. Even La Paz has a book…
A Rather Strange Career Change
By Arnon Grunberg
It has now been two weeks since I came to this small village in the Bavarian Alps. The village itself is pretty, and the lake nearby might be even described as beautiful. One could easily think that I…
George Tabori
By Arnon Grunberg
On July 23 the theater director, playwright and writer George Tabori died.Unfortunately, Mr. Tabori is not widely known outside Germany and Austria. His relative obscurity doesn’t do justice to…
Reading Adam Phillips
By Arnon Grunberg
Last fall I briefly met the American author Benjamin Kunkel in a hotel in Amsterdam. All foreign authors who come to Amsterdam stay, for some reason, in the Ambassade Hotel, and since I don’t have…
The Illusion of Return
By Arnon Grunberg
Last Monday, I had lunch in London with the Lebanese-Palestinian author Samir El-Youssef. We were supposed to go to a Lebanese restaurant called Beirut Express, but since it was too crowded there, he…
The Moral Responsibility of the Author
By Arnon Grunberg
There are so many book fairs out there that you could keep yourself busy for one year traveling from one book fair to the next.Last I weekend, I was in Turin, Italy for 48 hours at the Turin Book Fair.At…
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