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

Shylock is My Name

Shylock is My Name

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2016

A re-envisaging of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, from the Man Booker Prize-winner and our great chronicler of Jewish life. '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 ...

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.

eBooks 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.

eBooks of the Month
J

J

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/08/2014

Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2014. Shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2014. For thirty years Jacobson has stuck to his roots, mining his own life for material … until now for, with this book, he has switched to making things up.  The result is a triumph.  Set in the future and revolving round a tender love story, Jacobson has created a strange society.  Hanging over everything is an event, or series of events, that happened some time in the 2010/20s, referred to as What Happened, if it Happened.  Gradually we learn more.  The lovers are innocent which gives an emotional intensity to the whole thing as we flit back through family histories.  This is a rich and important book, utterly brilliant.

eBooks of the Month
Zoo Time

Zoo Time

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/05/2013

Winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2013. The new novel from the author of The Finkler Question, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2010. Zoo Time is a novel about love - love of women, love of literature and love of laughter.

eBooks of the Month
The Finkler Question

The Finkler Question

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2011

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2010. The Finkler Question is a scorching story of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and of the wisdom and humanity of maturity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best.  

eBooks of the Month
The Finkler Question : Unabridged Audiobook

The Finkler Question : Unabridged Audiobook

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/09/2010

Listen to this year Man Booker Prize winner exclusively and unabridged from Whole Story Audio..   Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2010 and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize.   The Finkler Question is a scorching story of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and of the wisdom and humanity of maturity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best. 

Kalooki Nights

Kalooki Nights

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/09/2007

'This book is Jacobson's masterpiece' Jonathan Freedland 'A work of genius' A.C. Grayling, The Times Wild, angry and uproarious, Kalooki Nights is a darkly comic, timely novel of what it means to be human. Max Glickman is son to an atheist boxer, Jack 'The Jew' Glickman, and a glamorous card-playing mother. Growing up in the peace and security of the 1950s Manchester suburbs, the word 'extermination' haunts his vocabulary and Nazis lurk in his imagination. When his childhood friend Manny is released from prison, the tug of religion and history proves too strong to be ignored and Max must accept there is no refuge from the dead... 'Raging, contentious, hilarious, holy, deicidal, heart-breaking' Sunday Telegraph

eBooks of the Month
Pussy

Pussy

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Ebook Release Date: 13/01/2018

Ein Jahr Donald Trump - eine bissige Gesellschaftssatire vom Booker-PreistragerIn der einst so friedlichen Republik Urbs-Ludus sind unruhige Zeiten angebrochen: Zu viele auslndische Brotbcker bedrohen den Frieden in der Stadt. Alle Hoffnungen ruhen auf dem Prinzen mit dem senfgelben Haar. Doch wei der, wie man ein Land regiert? Bse Zungen behaupten, er habe sogar Schwierigkeiten, vollstndige Stze zu bilden ... Prinz Fracassus ist der einzige Sohn des Herzogs von Urbs-Ludus und wchst im berfluss heran. Dem Knaben mit dem senfgelben Haar mangelt es weder an Bildung noch an Zerstreuung. Viel spricht er zwar nicht, dafr verbringt er zu viel Zeit vor dem Fernseher, aber das wird schon noch, oder? Es wird nicht. Selbst dem liebenden Vater fllt irgendwann auf: Seinem Sohn fllt es schwer, zusammenhngende Stze zu formulieren. Stattdessen ist eine groe Begeisterung fr Prostituierte, Gladiatorenkmpfe sowie fr Reality-Shows zu verzeichnen. Kann so ein Mann ein ganzes Land regieren? Ein Land, das murrt, weil es zu viele auslndische Brotbcker gibt? Verzweifelte Zeiten verlangen verzweifelte Manahmen. Politische Berater werden herbeigeholt, Allianzen werden geschlossen, eine Twitterkampagne organisiert. Und am Ende? Am Ende siegt die Einfalt. "e;Wenn Trumps Prsidentschaft irgendetwas Positives bewirkt hat, dann ist es die Tatsache, dass einer der besten Schriftsteller unserer Zeit diese geschliffene und gnadenlose Satire verfasst hat."e;Andrew Anthony, Observer

eBooks of the Month

Other books by Howard Jacobson

Mother's Boy

Mother's Boy

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

'A wonderful memoir, written with great linguistic brio. Candid, shrewd and moving - a classic of its kind.' - William Boyd 'Laugh-out-loud glorious and uproarious of course - but don't let the self-ribbing fool you; this is deep and poignant.' Simon Schama Howard Jacobson's funny, revealing and tender memoir of his path to becoming a writer It's my theory that only the unhappy, the uncomfortable, the gauche, the badly put together, aspire to make art. Why would you seek to reshape the world unless you were ill-at-ease in it? And I came out of the womb in every sense the wrong way round. In Mother's Boy, Booker-Prize winner Howard Jacobson reveals how he became a writer. It is an exploration of belonging and not-belonging, of being an insider and outsider, both English and Jewish. Jacobson was forty when his first novel was published. In Mother's Boy he traces the life that brought him there. Born to a working-class family in 1940s Manchester, the great-grandson of Lithuanian and Russian immigrants, Jacobson was raised by his mother, grandmother and aunt Joyce. His father was a regimental tailor, as well as an upholsterer, a market-stall holder, a taxi driver, a balloonist, and a magician. Grappling always with his family's history and his Jewish identity, Jacobson takes us from the growing pains of childhood to studying at Cambridge under F.R. Leavis, and landing in Sydney as a maverick young professor on campus. After his first marriage and the birth of his son, he lived in places as disparate as London, Wolverhampton, Boscastle and Melbourne, and worked many different jobs to make ends meet, from selling handbags on a market stall, to teaching English in schools, universities and sometimes football stadiums, and even helping to run an Australian-inspired restaurant in the middle of Cornwall. Full of Jacobson's trademark humour and infused with bittersweet memories of his parents, this is the story of a writer's beginnings - as well as the twists and turns that life takes - and of learning to understand who you are before you can become the writer you were meant to be.

Age of Confidence: The New Jewish Culture Wave

Age of Confidence: The New Jewish Culture Wave

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/09/2021

Taking the terrorist attacks of 9/11 as their starting point, five new essays look at how Jewish culture has changed over the past two decades. Covering music (Vanessa Paloma Elbaz), art (Monica Bohm Duchen), literature (Bryan Cheyette), theatre (Judi Herman) and film (Nathan Abrams), the essays explore the role of confidence in the cultural output of minority communities, and ask whether the trends identified look set to continue over the coming years. Commissioned to mark the twentieth anniversary of Jewish Renaissance magazine, the book includes a foreword by Howard Jacobson and is interspersed with a selection of the best articles from the magazine's archive, including pieces by the director Mike Leigh, author Linda Grant and sociologist Keith Kahn-Harris.

Live a Little

Live a Little

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/08/2020

'A . . . tender love story . . . This book is alive. It pulses with warmth and intelligence' The Times A wickedly observed novel about falling in love at the end of your life, by the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question. At the age of ninety-something, Beryl Dusinbery is forgetting everything - including her own children. She spends her days stitching morbid samplers and tormenting her two carers with tangled tales of her husbands and affairs. Shimi Carmelli can do up his own buttons, walks without a frame and speaks without spitting. Among the widows of North London, he's whispered about as the last of the eligible bachelors. He forgets nothing -especially not the shame of a childhood incident that has long hung over him. There's very little left remaining for either of them. . . But perhaps just enough to heal some of the hurt inflicted along the way, and find new meaning in what's left. *SHORTLISTED FOR THE WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE 2020*

The Dog's Last Walk

The Dog's Last Walk

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/03/2018

_______________ '[An] acutely observed collection of occasional pieces that pick at absurdist life and reveal him to be a quiz, a cultural critic gifted with precise comic timing' - The Times 'The author's prose is always a delight ... a book that manages the high-wire act of being genuinely funny while dispensing genuine wisdom' - Times Literary Supplement 'Jacobson is one of the great sentence-builders of our time. I feel I have to raise my game, even just to praise ... In short, he is one of the great guardians of language and culture - all of it. Long may he flourish' - Nicholas Lezard, Guardian _______________ Week after week, for eighteen years, the Booker Prize-winning novelist Howard Jacobson wrote a weekly column for the Independent, reflecting in inimitable style on the sacred and the profane in turn, the frivolous and the serious, the deeply personal and the most universal. The shame and humiliation inherent in death is explored with frank astuteness. Matisse, darts and the power of love are celebrated; while cyclists are very much censured. And meanwhile, a beloved old Labrador walks his last walk as life elsewhere hurtles on and away... The Dog's Last Walk is a collection of wisdom and iconoclasm for our uncertain times, and one that reveals one of our greatest writers in all his humanity. _______________ 'Sharp and playful, surreal and thoughtful, and occasionally ... rather moving' - New Statesman 'Yes, Jacobson is an entertainer ... And he does indeed entertain, but in a way that stimulates rather than simply amuses' - Sunday Telegraph 'His columns were always one of the best things in [the Independent] - funny, argumentative, contrary and stuffed with ideas as well as a big, sympathetic personality' - Philip Hensher, Spectator

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.

eBooks of the Month
Ovid's Heroidos

Ovid's Heroidos

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/04/2016

A series of letters purportedly written by Penelope, Dido, Medea, and other heroines to their lovers, the Heroides represents Ovid's initial attempt to revitalize myth as a subject for literature. In this book, Howard Jacobson examines the first fifteen elegaic letters of the Heroides. In his critical evaluation, Professor Jacobson takes into consideration the twofold nature of the work: its existence as a single entity with uniform poetic structure and coherent goals, and its existence as a collection of fifteen individual poems. Thus, fifteen chapters are devoted to a thorough analysis and interpretation of the particular poems, while six additional chapters are concerned with problems that pertain to the work as a whole, such as the nature of the genre, the role of rhetoric, theme, and variation, and the originality of Ovid. Special attention is given to the application of modern psychological criticism to the delineations of the pathological psyche in the letters. In an additional chapter on the chronology of Ovid's early amatory poetry, the author challenges and revises the traditional dating of the Heroides. Originally published in 1974. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Shylock Is My Name

Shylock Is My Name

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Ebook Release Date: 09/02/2016

Man Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson brings his singular brilliance to this modern re-imagining of one of Shakespeare's most unforgettable characters: Shylock Winter, a cemetery, Shylock. In this provocative and profound interpretation of ';The Merchant of Venice,' Shylock is juxtaposed against his present-day counterpart in the character of art dealer and conflicted father Simon Strulovitch. With characteristic irony, Jacobson presents Shylock as a man of incisive wit and passion, concerned still with questions of identity, parenthood, anti-Semitism and revenge. While Strulovich struggles to reconcile himself to his daughter Beatrice's ';betrayal' of her family and heritage as she is carried away by the excitement of Manchester high society, and into the arms of a footballer notorious for giving a Nazi salute on the field Shylock alternates grief for his beloved wife with rageagainst his own daughter's rejection of her Jewish upbringing. Culminating in a shocking twist on Shylock's demand for the infamous pound of flesh, Jacobson's insightful retelling examines contemporary, acutely relevant questions of Jewish identity while maintaining a poignant sympathy for its characters and a genuine spiritual kinship with its antecedenta drama which Jacobson himself considers to be ';the most troubling of Shakespeare's plays for anyone, but, for an English novelist who happens to be Jewish, also the most challenging.'

Whatever It Is, I Don't Like It

Whatever It Is, I Don't Like It

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

_______________ '[An] acutely observed collection of occasional pieces that pick at absurdist life and reveal him to be a quiz, a cultural critic gifted with precise comic timing' - The Times 'Yes, Jacobson is an entertainer ... And he does indeed entertain, but in a way that stimulates rather than simply amuses' - Sunday Telegraph 'Nobody does it better than Jacobson' - Observer _______________ 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. _______________ 'The no-nonsense tone, coupled with a coherent defence of truth, even in uncomfortable circumstances, shows the essayist as a natural comedian' - Prospect 'Jacobson is one of the great sentence-builders of our time. I feel I have to raise my game, even just to praise ... In short, he is one of the great guardians of language and culture - all of it. Long may he flourish' - Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

In the Land of Oz

In the Land of Oz

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

_______________ 'A wildly funny account of his travels ... it actually is a book which makes you laugh out loud on almost every page' - Literary Review 'The most successful attempt I know to grip the great dreaming Australian enigma by the throat and make it gargle' - Evening Standard 'A marvellous read ... he is a comic explorer in the grandest mould' - Financial Times _______________ The Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question went Down Under - and this is what he found... 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. _______________ 'Entertaining ... this is a book about exotic Australia - the fringes, the deserts, the opal mines, the Aborigines, and the North Queensland rednecks' - Guardian

The Finkler Question

The Finkler Question

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/08/2010

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 3 March 2011.   Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2010. The Finkler Question is a scorching story of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and of the wisdom and humanity of maturity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best.  

eBooks of the Month
The Exagoge of Ezekiel

The Exagoge of Ezekiel

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback 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 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.

The Making of Henry

The Making of Henry

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback 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.

Coming From Behind

Coming From Behind

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback 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...

Who's Sorry Now

Who's Sorry Now

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback 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.

The Mighty Walzer

The Mighty Walzer

Author: Howard Jacobson Format: Paperback 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.