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David Bezmozgis

Award Winning Author and Filmmaker

Travels From

Massachusetts


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BIO

David Bezmozgis was born in Riga, Latvia in the former USSR.  He immigrated to Canada with his parents in 1980.  In the spring of 2003 he emerged on the literary scene when three of his stories were published almost simultaneously in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and Zoetrope All-Story. These stories formed the core David’s first book, the acclaimed Natasha and Other Stories, which chronicled the experiences of a family of Soviet Jews who immigrate to Toronto in the 1980s. “These complex, evocative stories herald the arrival of a significant new voice,” declared Publisher’s Weekly.

 

Natasha went on to be translated into more than a dozen languages and was a New York Times Notable Book for 2004, as well as an Amazon.com Top 10 Book, and among the “Best Books” selections of The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, Publisher’s Weekly, and The Independent. It was also chosen by The New York Public Library as one of the “25 Books to Remember for 2004.”

 

Among its prizes, it garnered the Commonwealth First Book Prize (Canada/Carribean), The Reform Judaism Prize for Jewish Fiction, The Canadian Jewish Fiction Prize, the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize for Fiction (UK), and the City of Toronto Book Award. It was also shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award, The Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum First Book Award, and The Governor General’s Award For Fiction (Canada).

 

David’s work has been widely anthologized and selected for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories in 2005 and 2006.

 

He has twice been a participant in The New Yorker Festival (2005, 2009) and has been a featured speaker at universities and literary festivals around the world as well as venues such as The New York Public Library and The Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

 

David is a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow as well as a MacDowell Colony Fellow.

 

Alongside his literary work, David has also established himself a versatile and talented filmmaker. He holds an MFA in Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and he has written and directed both documentaries and narrative films.

 

In the summer of 2006, David was among a select number of screenwriters to be invited to the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab. In 2009, Victoria Day, David’s first feature film as writer, director and producer, premiered at The Sundance Film Festival. Also set in Toronto in the 1980s, the film covered territory similar to that of Natasha. Since its Sundance premiere, Victoria Day has also played at numerous film festivals around the world, including The Shanghai International Film Festival, The Moscow International Film Festival, The Athens International Film Festival, and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

 

David lives in Toronto where he is completing his first novel, to be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2010.


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BOOKS

Trade Paperback
Picador

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011 A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 TitleSummer, 1978. Brezhnev sits like a stone in the Kremlin, Israel and...
Trade Paperback
Natasha
And Other Stories
Picador

A dazzling debut, and a publishing phenomenon: the tender, savagely funny collection from a young immigrant who has taken the critics by storm. Few readers...

SPEECHES

Who Chooses Whom? The Author and His Subject: David talks about why he has written primarily about the Russian and Russian/Jewish immigrant experience. The talk touches upon the larger question of how a writer finds his/her subject, as well as the consequences—both positive and negative—of coming to be defined by a particular subject. Be it stylistic, tonal, ethnic, or genre-based.

The Russian Jewish Immigrant Experience - Who Are the Russian Jews? Where Do They Fit in North American Jewish Life & Culture? Having extensively written about and studied the history and culture of Russian Jews (and being one himself) David examines where these Jews fit into the fabric of North American Jewish life. Who are they? What are the historical, political, and social forces that shaped them? What are the commonalities and differences between them and North American Jews? How have these factors impacted their integration into North American Jewish life? And what might the future hold?

Being a Hyphenate: Literature and Cinema – The Story of My Career as an Author-Filmmaker. As both an accomplished author and film director, David discusses the reasons behind the choices he made that led him on his unusual career path. What is the appeal of working in both mediums? How do they complement each other—and how do they clash? A candid account of what it’s like to juggle a career in both literature and film.


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