Jean-Jacques Greif: jon-jak greff (the j is pronounced in the French style, like the j in déjà vu. The author says that in France his name is usually pronounced greff, in Germany they tend to rhyme it with life, and in English with grief - anyway is fine with him!
Jean-Jacques Greif was born in 1944 in Paris, France. From 1970 to 1975, he was an advertising copywriter. He has been a journalist at Marie Claire magazine since 1975. Greif originally published The Fighter in his native France, where it is entitled Le Ring de la Mort and where it was awarded a number of literary prizes. Although Jean-Jacques Greif is the author of dozens of books for young readers, The Fighter is his first book for teens to be published in the United States. He is married with three children and lives in Paris.
This biography was last updated on 07/02/2011.
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Jean-Jacques Greifs father, Lonek, was a prisoner in Auschwitz, a concentration
camp in Poland, when Greif was born in the fall of 1944. Arrested just two weeks
after his son was conceived, Lonek survived the horrors of the camp, and
returned home six months after his sons birth.
Since first hearing about Auschwitz as a young boy, Jean-Jacques Greif has been captivated by stories of the Holocaust and how survivors experiences shaped their lives and history and considers it to be a defining moment in his life. After writing several books in which the Holocaust played a minor role, he felt the need to write one in which it provides the main settingand is itself a character. That book is The Fighter, based on the story of Maurice Gabarz, a friend of his father.
What follows is a conversation between Mr. Greif and his editor, Jill Davis, about the writing and the translation of The Fighter.
When you were a child, did your father talk about his experiences in Auschwitz?
It is said that Auschwitz survivors didnt talk about the camp because other people couldnt understand. If this is true, then they could talk to other survivors. When I was two or three, I hid ...
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