Fred Waitzkin biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Fred Waitzkin
Photo: Bonnie Waitzkin

Fred Waitzkin

How to pronounce Fred Waitzkin: WAITZ-kin

Fred Waitzkin Biography

Fred Waitzkin is the author of Searching for Bobby Fischer, Mortal Games, The Last Marlin, and The Dream Merchant, his first novel. His articles and essays have appeared in numerous magazines, including Esquire, Forbes, New York magazine, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Outside magazine, and Sports Illustrated. Waitzkin lives in New York City with his wife. He spends as much time as possible on the bridge of his old boat trolling baits off distant islands with his family.

Fred Waitzkin's website

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Interview

Fred Waitzkin talks about fishing trips and the complex relationship with his father that colors his writing in many interesting ways.

  1. Q: In your novel you explore some of the same subjects in your memoirs that parallel your own life: the complex father/son relationship as it relates to your father, who was a successful salesman and avid fisherman like your protagonist Jim, as well as the nature of competition. Why do these themes resonate with you?
    A: Clearly, my father got deeply into me. Abe was charming, driven, ruthless and sickly, often going into the hospital or coming out a hero after surviving another grim operation. He would do anything to close a deal. Abe ruined men who crossed him over lighting deals, put them out of business. But so what? In his time, he lit most of the new office buildings in Manhattan. He made the city skyline glow, which moved the hell out of me as a kid. I worshipped the ground he walked on. He took me to fancy steak restaurants where we never had to wait for a table. Tammany Hall politicians waved from across the room and he grinned back at them—he had them in his pocket. Abe Waitzkin was on top and I was his son. I still can't get free of him, not that I want to. He always gets into my books.
  2. Q: Jim is a charismatic, yet flawed salesman who wins women and countless people over through his charms and schemes, ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Fred Waitzkin at BookBrowse
The Dream Merchant jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Fred Waitzkin but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Ethan Canin

    Ethan Canin

    Highly regarded as both a novelist and a short story writer, Ethan Canin has ranged in his career from the short stories of Emperor of the Air to the novellas of The Palace Thief, from the short novel Carry Me Across the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Dream Merchant

    Try:
    America America
    by Ethan Canin

  • Bryn Greenwood

    Bryn Greenwood

    Greenwood is a fourth-generation Kansan, one of seven sisters, and the daughter of a mostly reformed drug dealer. She earned a MA in Creative Writing from Kansas State University and continues to work in academia as an ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Dream Merchant

    Try:
    Last Will
    by Bryn Greenwood

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