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Howard Jacobson - Author

About the Author

An award-winning writer and broadcaster, Howard Jacobson was born in Manchester, brought up in Prestwich and was educated at Stand Grammar School in Whitefield, and Downing College, Cambridge, where he studied under F. R. Leavis. He lectured for three years at the University of Sydney before returning to teach at Selwyn College, Cambridge. His novels include The Mighty Walzer (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), Kalooki Nights (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize), the highly acclaimed The Act of Love, the 2010 Man Booker Prize-winning, The Finkler Question and, most recently, Zoo Time. Howard Jacobson lives in Soho, London.

Featured books by Howard Jacobson

Pussy

Pussy

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/04/2017

Pussy is the story of Prince Fracassus, heir presumptive to the Duchy of Origen, famed for its golden-gated skyscrapers and casinos, who passes his boyhood watching reality shows on TV, imagining himself to be the Roman Emperor Nero, and fantasizing about hookers.

ebook of the month
Shylock is My Name The Merchant of Venice Retold

Shylock is My Name The Merchant of Venice Retold

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/02/2016

It is winner of the Booker Prize. The funniest British novelist since Kingsley Amis or Tom Sharpe. (Mail on Sunday). As Seen on BBC Imagine. 'Who is this guy, Dad? What is he doing here?' With an absent wife and a daughter going off the rails, wealthy art collector and philanthropist Simon Strulovitch is in need of someone to talk to. So when he meets Shylock at a cemetery in Cheshire's Golden Triangle, he invites him back to his house. It's the beginning of a remarkable friendship. Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle, the rich, manipulative Plurabelle (aka Anna Livia Plurabelle Cleopatra A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever Christine) is the face of her own TV series, existing in a bubble of plastic surgery and lavish parties. She shares prejudices and a barbed sense of humour with her loyal friend D'Anton, whose attempts to play Cupid involve Strulovitch's daughter - and put a pound of flesh on the line.

ebook of the month
J: A Novel

J: A Novel

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/08/2015

The brilliant new novel from the Booker prize-winning author. Two people fall in love, not yet knowing where they have come from or where they are going. They aren't sure if they have fallen in love of their own accord, or whether they've been pushed into each other's arms. But who would have pushed them, and why? Hanging over their lives is a momentous catastrophe - a past event shrouded in suspicion, denial and apology, now referred to as What Happened, If It Happened. Set in the future - a world where the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited - J is a love story of incomparable strangeness, both tender and terrifying. Short-listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize Short-listed for the 2014 Goldsmiths Prize.

ebook of the month

Other books by Howard Jacobson

Whatever It Is, I Don't Like It

Whatever It Is, I Don't Like It

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/2012

It takes a particular kind of man to want an embroidered polo player astride his left nipple. Occasionally, when I am tired and emotional, or consumed with self-dislike, I try to imagine myself as someone else, a wearer of Yarmouth shirts and fleecy sweats, of windbreakers and rugged Tyler shorts, of baseball caps with polo players where the section of the brain that concerns itself with aesthetics is supposed to be. But the hour passes. Good men return from fighting Satan in the wilderness the stronger for their struggle, and so do I. The winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize, Howard Jacobson, brims with life in this collection of his most acclaimed journalism. From the unusual disposal of his father-in-law's ashes and the cultural wasteland of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the melancholy sensuality of Leonard Cohen and desolation of Wagner's tragedies, Jacobson writes with all the thunder and joy of a man possessed. Absurdity piles upon absurdity, and glorious sentences weave together to create a hilarious, heartbreaking and uniquely human collection. This book is not just a series of parts, but an irresistible, unputdownable sum which triumphantly out-Thurbers Thurber.

In the Land of Oz

In the Land of Oz

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2011

On what he calls `the adventure of his life', Howard Jacobson travels around Australia, never entirely sure where he is heading next or whether he has the courage to tackle the wild life of the bush, the wild men of the outback, or the even wilder women of the seaboard cities. In pursuit of the best of Australian good times, he joins revelers at Uluru, argues with racists in the Kimberleys, parties with wine-growers in the Barossa and falls for ballet dancers in Perth. And even as vexed questions of national identity and Aboriginal land rights present themselves, his love for Australia and Australians never falters.

The Exagoge of Ezekiel

The Exagoge of Ezekiel

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/11/2009

The Exagoge is a drama on the theme of the Jewish Exodus, written in Greek in the form of a Greek tragedy by a Jew living in Alexandria probably at some time during the second century BC. It survives in 269 lines - not isolated verses but forming several continuous passages - enough to give the shape of the play and to reveal Ezekiel as a tragedian of significance. For the student of Jewish literary history and thought Ezekiel is a most important source, of interest for being one of the earliest examples of Jewish exegesis and paraphrase of the Bible. Professor Jacobson accompanies the text of the play with a translation. In the commentary he examines the fragments line by line, comparing them with the biblical account and other accounts in related Jewish sources. The substantial and readable introduction examines the historical, social and intellectual background to Ezekiel and the Exagoge.

The Act of Love

The Act of Love

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/2009

No man has ever loved a woman and not imagined her in the arms of someone else. Felix Quinn calls himself a happy man. He owns one of London's oldest antiquarian bookshops. He is married to and adores the beautiful Marisa. But a childhood experience has taught him that loss is intrinsic to love, and Felix realises that he can only be truly happy if his wife is sleeping with another man. Enter Marius into Marisa's affections. And now Felix must ask himself, is he really happy? By the winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize.

Kalooki Nights

Kalooki Nights

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2007

Life should have been sunny for Max Glickman, growing up in Crumpsall Park in peacetime, with his mother's glamorous card evenings to look forward to, and photographs of his father's favourite boxers on the walls. But other voices whisper seductively to him of Buchenwald, extermination, and the impossibility of forgetting. Fixated on the crimes which have been committed against his people, but unable to live among them, Max moves away, marries out, and draws cartoon histories of Jewish suffering in which no one, least of all the Jews, is much interested. But it's a life. Or it seems a life until Max's long-disregarded childhood friend, Manny Washinsky, is released from prison. Little by little, as he picks up his old connection with Manny, trying to understand the circumstances in which he made a Buchenwald of his own home, Max is drawn into Manny's family history - above all his brother's tragic love affair with a girl who is half German. But more than that, he is drawn back into the Holocaust obsessions from which he realises there can be, and should be, no release. There is wild, angry, even uproarious laughter in this novel, but it is laughter on the edge. It is the comedy of cataclysm.

The Making Of Henry

The Making Of Henry

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2005

One day, out of the blue, Henry Nagel inherits a sumptuous apartment in St John's Wood. Divine intervention? Or his late father's love nest? Henry doesn't know, but he is glad to escape the North. After nearly sixty years of angry disappointment, Henry's life is about to change. Not that the ghosts of Henry's past are prepared to disappear without a struggle - his old school-friend and rival Osmond 'Hovis' Belkin, currently enjoying success in Hollywood; his tragic great aunt Marghanita for whom Henry once entertained a dangerous passion; and his father Izzi, upholsterer turned illusionist, fire-eater and origamist, whose shade Henry interrogates relentlessly. But the present clamours as loudly as the past. His dyspeptic neighbour Lachlan wants his sympathy; Lachlan's sloppy red setter, Angus, wants a walk; and Moira, the waitress with the crooked smile and custard hair, seems to want him. Kicking and screaming every inch of the way, Henry realises he might finally be falling in love.

Who's Sorry Now

Who's Sorry Now

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/04/2003

Marvin Kreitman, the luggage baron of South London, lives for sex. Or at least he lives for women. At present he loves four women - his mother, his wife Hazel, and his two daughters - and is in love with five more. Charlie Merriweather, on the other hand, nice Charlie, loves just the one woman, also called Charlie, the wife with whom he has been writing children's books and having nice sex for twenty years. Once a week the two friends meet for a Chinese lunch, contriving never quite to have the conversation they would like to have - about fidelity and womanising, and which makes you happier. Until today. It is Charlie who takes the dangerous step of asking for a piece of Marvin's disordered life, but what follows embroils them all, the wives no less than the husbands. And none of them will ever be the same again.

Coming From Behind

Coming From Behind

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/04/2003

In an ever divided Britain, this wryly observed novel is a timely and thought-provoking read from the Booker-winning author of The Finkler Question. 'A very funny, bitterly intelligent novel...do read it' Malcolm Bradbury Sefton Goldberg: mid-thirties, English teacher at Wrottesley Poly in the West Midlands; small, sweaty, lustful, defiantly unappreciative of beer, nature and organised games; gnawingly aware of being an urban Jew islanded in a sea of country-loving Anglo-Saxons. Obsessed by failure - morbidly, in his own case, gloatingly, in that of his contemporaries - so much so that he plans to write a bestseller on the subject. In the meantime he is uncomfortably aware of advancing years and atrophying achievement, and no amount of lofty rationalisation can disguise the triumph of friends and colleagues, not only from Cambridge days but even within the despised walls of the Poly itself, or sweeten the bitter pill of another's success...

The Mighty Walzer

The Mighty Walzer

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2000

From the beginning Oliver Walzer is a natural - at ping-pong. Even with his improvised bat (the Collins Classic edition of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) he can chop, flick, half-volley like a champion. At sex he is not so adept, but with tuition from Sheeny Waxman, fellow member of the Akiva Social Club Table Tennis Team and stalwart of the Kardomah coffee bar, his game improves. Winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize.

The Mighty Walzer

The Mighty Walzer

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/08/1999

From the very beginning, Oliver Walzer is a natural - at ping-pong. Without even a bat (he plays with the Collins Classic edition of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) he can chop, flick, half-volley like a champion. At sex, he is not a natural, being shy and frightened of women, but with tuition from Sheeny Waxman, fellow member of the Akiva Social Club Table Tennis team and stalwart of the Kardoma coffee bar, his game improves. Twink, Aishky, Sheeny, Louis: the Akiva boys teach Walzer everything there is to know about ping-pong, at least as it is played in the Manchester and District League. His father, Joel Walzer, market trader, teaches him everything there is to know about 'swag': Dutch pee-pee boys with Chinese faces, flowery wall plates, pouffes shaped like grand pianos. Unabashedly autobiographical, this story of one man's coming of age in the Manchester of the 1950s is hilarious and heartbreaking. It won the Everyman Wodehouse Award for comic writing when it was published in 1999.

No More Mr Nice Guy

No More Mr Nice Guy

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/05/1999

Frank Ritz is a television critic. His partner, Melissa Paul, is the author of pornographic novels for liberated women. He watches crap all day; she writes crap all day. It's a life. Or it was a life. But now they're fighting, locked in oral combat. He won't shut up and she is putting her finger down her throat again. So there's only one thing for it - Frank has to go. But go where? And do what? Frank Ritz has been on heat more or less continuously since he could speak his own name. Let him out of the house and his first instinct is to go looking for sex. Deviant sex, treacherous sex, even straight sex, so long as it's immoderate - he's never been choosy. But what happens when sex is all you know but no longer what you want?

Redback

Redback

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/05/1999

Winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize. Karl Leon Forelock is a product of the northern English town of Partington (the wettest spot in Europe) and a graduate with a double starred first in the Moral Decencies from Malapert college, Cambridge. Sent to Sydney on a CIA bursary on a mission to teach the Australians how to live, Leon quickly discovers that there are some natives who believe that they have an education to pass on in return. But it is at the hands of the women in Australia that Leon receives his most painful, and on occasions his most pleasurable, lessons. Meanwhile, in a foul, dilapidated bush privy, way up in the Bogong high plains, the Redback sucks her teeth and waits her turn...