Novelist, journalist, contributor to The Independent newspaper and one of the few authors to have won the Man Booker prize with a comic novel (The Finkler Question), Howard Jacobson, born in 1942, is an icon of contemporary English literature. His comic verve, combined with a healthy dose of cynicism, emerges from the pages of editorials and brilliant works of fiction which sketch out memorable human comedies. «A sharp and unique author, secular, well-educated and increasingly unconventional.» (l'Espresso), in response to those who call him «the English Philip Roth», he has dubbed himself «a Jewish Jane Austen.» For many years he taught at Wolverhampton Polytechnic (West Midlands) and was a lecturer at the University of Sydney, he has also taught at Selwyn College, Cambridge. Two of his essays have inspired many television series: in the first – Roots Schmoots. Journeys Among Jews (1993) – Jacobson wonders about his own Jewish roots; in the second – Seriously Funny. From the Ridiculous to the Sublime (1997) – he undertakes an all out exploration of comedy and its functions. Over the course of his career, he has made programmes radio and television and he has written a travel book on Australia (In the Land of Oz, 1987). A two-time winner of the Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize for Fiction, in 2013 he was awarded the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for the second time with the novel Zoo Time and in 2014 he was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize with G. In 2016, 500 years after the death of Shakespeare, he took part in the Hogarth Spakespeare publishing project with My Name Is Shylock.
(photo: © Festivaletteratura)