Austin Ratner

The Jump Artist
  • The Jump Artist

  • The Jump Artist by Austin Ratner is a prize-winning novel that tells an astonishing true story of injustice, survival, reinvention and fame against all the odds.

    'Panoramic, arresting, breathtaking' Anna Funder, author of Stasiland

    'Bold and wondrous' A D Miller, author of Snowdrops

    Austria, 1928. A murder trial sends shockwaves across Europe. An unknown young man named Philippe Halsman stands unjustly accused of killing his father. Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and Thomas Mann are moved to speak out on his behalf. But as he fights to prove his innocence, a whole nation turns against him.

    So begins an extraordinary journey - from courtroom drama and prison cell to bohemian Paris at its height and Europe on the eve of war - and an extraordinary act of reinvention, involving Salvador Dali and Marilyn Monroe among many of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. From tragedy and injustice to freedom and, eventually, to fame, this is the remarkable story of The Jump Artist.

    'Compelling' The Sunday Times

    'Brilliantly constructed' Guardian

    'A remarkable work [that] documents a triumph of the human spirit over tremendous adversity' Harper's

    'A tale of passionate commitment' New Statesman

    'Lucid and atmospheric' Observer

    'Absorbing' Sunday Telegraph

    'Truly beautiful' The Scotsman

    'Tremendous resonance' Publishers Weekly

    'Subtle, moving ... has the pace and excitement of a legal drama' The Forward

    Austin Ratner studied at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, having previously graduated from John Hopkins School of Medicine. The Jump Artist won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature in 2010. It is his first novel.

Austin Ratner graduated from John Hopkins School of Medicine but abandoned a burgeoning career as a doctor in order to dedicate himself to his writing of The Jump Artist. Published by a small independent press, this debut novel was picked by Publishers Weekly as one of the ten most promising debuts of the year, met with widespread acclaim and won the $100,000 Sami Rohr Prize. He has since studied at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and his writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and has been honored with the Missouri Review Editors' Prize in Fiction.

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