Markus Zusak biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Markus Zusak
Photo © 2005 Bronwyn Rennex

Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak Biography

Markus Zusak's novels include Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting The Girl , I Am The Messenger, The Book Thief and Bridge of Clay. He received the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year Award for I Am the Messenger. He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and children.

Markus Zusak's website

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Interview

A conversation with Markus Zusak about The Book Thief - a story about, among other things: A girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

A conversation with Markus Zusak about The Book Thief

Q: What inspired you to write about a hungry, illiterate girl who has such a desire to read that she steals books?

A: I think it's just working on a book over and over again. I heard stories of cities on fire, teenagers who were whipped for giving starving Jewish people bread on their way to concentration camps, and people huddled in bomb shelters. . . . But I also had a story about a book thief set in my hometown of Sydney. I just brought the two ideas together and realized the importance of words in Nazi Germany. I thought of Hitler destroying people with words, and now I had a girl who was stealing them back, as she read books with the young Jewish man in her basement and calmed people down in the bomb shelters. She writes her own story–and it's a beautiful story– through the ugliness of the world that surrounds her.


Q: How did you decide to make Death the narrator of the book?

A: With great difficulty! I thought, "Here's a book set during war. Everyone says war and death are best friends." Death is ever-present during war, so here was the perfect choice to narrate The Book Thief. At first, though, Death was too mean. He was ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Markus Zusak at BookBrowse
Bridge of Clay jacket The Book Thief jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Markus Zusak 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

  • Atia Abawi

    Atia Abawi

    Atia Abawi was born to Afghan parents in West Germany and was raised in the United States. She graduated from Virginia Tech and was awarded their Outstanding Alumna honor. After college, Abawi worked for CNN as a foreign news... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Book Thief

    Try:
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

  • Diane Ackerman

    Diane Ackerman

    Poet, essayist, and naturalist, Diane Ackerman is the author of many highly acclaimed works of nonfiction, including A Natural History of the Senses -- a book beloved by readers all over the world and the volumes Deep Play, A... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Book Thief

    Try:
    The Zookeeper's Wife
    by Diane Ackerman

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Book Discussion
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The riveting story of the USA's courageous and accomplished WWII female American code breakers.

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Readers Recommend

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A masterpiece of thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.

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