Joshua Henkin biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Joshua Henkin
Photo © Ali Price

Joshua Henkin

Joshua Henkin Biography

Joshua Henkin is the author of the novels Swimming Across the Hudson (a Los Angeles Times Notable Book), Matrimony (a New York Times Notable Book) and The World Without You (2012). His stories have been published widely, cited for distinction in Best American Short Stories and broadcast on NPR's Selected Shorts. He directs the MFA Program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.

Joshua Henkin's website

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Interview

Joshua Henkin talks about his third novel, The World Without You, set against the backdrop of Independence Day and the Iraq War - a novel about sibling rivalries, marital feuds, dealing with grief and, ultimately, about the true meaning of family.

Q. Why did you set The World Without You in the Berkshires on the Fourth of July, 2005?

A. This will sound counterintuitive, but I thought it was the perfect setting for a novel about a journalist killed in the Iraq War. I was interested in the contrast between war in the Middle East and the cloistered life of the Berkshires. The Frankels are privileged. The kids went to Yale and Princeton and Wesleyan; the family is made up of doctors and lawyers and future Nobel laureates and celebrity chefs. These are people with strong political opinions, but the war in Iraq remained an abstraction to them until it touched them in the most horrific way imaginable. What is it like to experience that horror in the Berkshires, whose very purpose, it can seem, is to eradicate all trace of horror? What is it like to mourn when the rest of the town - the rest of the country - is celebrating?


Q: Was there a particular event or idea that inspired The World Without You?

A: I had a first cousin who died of Hodgkin's disease when he was in his late twenties. I family reunion thirty years later, my aunt, updating everyone on what was happening in her life, said, "I have two sons…." and we were all startled, because she'd once had two ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Joshua Henkin at BookBrowse
The World Without You jacket Matrimony jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Joshua Henkin 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

  • Amy Bloom

    Amy Bloom

    Author of two New York Times best-sellers and three collections of short stories, a children's book and a ground-breaking collection of essays. She's been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The World Without You

    Try:
    Away
    by Amy Bloom

  • Joan Dempsey

    Joan Dempsey

    Winner of the 2017 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, New England native Joan Dempsey received an MFA and teaching certificate in creative writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Dempsey was ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The World Without You

    Try:
    This Is How It Begins
    by Joan Dempsey

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Book Discussion
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