With A Palestine Affair -- a combination thriller/literary romance -- Jonathan Wilson sweeps readers up into the chaos of 1920s Palestine. "Like the best of historical fiction, Wilson's story is placed in an imagined past, but it is really happening right now," says The Washington Post of Wilson's breakout novel.
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Date of Birth:
February 26, 1950
Place of Birth:
B.A., First Class, University of Essex 1973; Ph.D., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1980
John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (Fiction), 1994
|Wilson's Latest Work|
Novelist and critic Jonathan Wilson clears away the sentimental mists surrounding an artist whose career spanned two world wars, the Russian Revolution, the Holocaust, and the birth of the State of Israel. Marc Chagall’s work addresses these transforming events, but his ambivalence about his role as a Jewish artist adds an intriguing wrinkle to common assumptions about his life. Wilson’s portrait of Chagall is altogether more historical, more political, and edgier than conventional wisdom would have us believe -- showing us how Chagall is the emblematic Jewish artist of the twentieth century.
|Advice for the Aspiring|
|"I was a relatively late starter in fiction," Wilson reveals in our exclusive interview. "I published poetry first -- but couldn’t get any humor in the poems, so I switched to fiction. I was lucky -- the first story I sent to The New Yorker, they accepted! But I had also served my time -- I was over 40 when the story came out." His advice to aspiring writers: "Trust your ear and direct your ambition toward a sentence that works."|
|Wilson's Reading Recommendations|
|The Great Gatsby|
F. Scott Fitzgerald
We asked Wilson to talk with us about a few of his all-time favorite books and authors. F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic Jazz Age novel The Great Gatsby made his list of favorites; "I am a complete sucker for a superior sentence," he explains of his choice.
"Yes, I think Portnoy’s Complaint is a beautiful book," Wilson explains of another of his favorite works. Read our complete interview with Wilson to learn more about his favorite writers and reads, including:
|Photo by Nina Nickles||