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Markus Zusak was born in Sydney, Australia on June 23, 1975. He began writing at the age of 16, and seven years later his first book, The Underdog, was published. He is best known for his young adult novels The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger, both of which are Michael L. Printz Honor books. The Book Thief was adapted into a movie. His next book, Bridge of Clay was published October 2018. It won 2019 Indie Book Awards for Debut Fiction and Book of the Year. (Bowker Author Biography)
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According to his publisher, Australian author Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories about Nazi Germany, about the bombing of Munich and about Jews being marched through his mother’s small, German town. He always knew it was a story he wanted to tell.
By the age of 30, Zusak had already asserted himself as one of today’s most innovative and poetic novelists. With the publication of The Book Thief, he was dubbed a ‘literary phenomenon’ by Australian and U.S. critics.
Markus Zusak (born 23 June 1975) is an Australian writer of German origin. He is best known for The Book Thief and The Messenger (US title: I Am the Messenger), two novels which became international bestsellers. He won the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 2014.
Zusak was born in Sydney, Australia. His mother Lisa is originally from Germany and his father Helmut is from Austria. They emigrated to Australia in the late 1950s. Markus is the youngest of four children and has two sisters and one brother. He attended Engadine High School and briefly returned there to teach English while writing. He studied English and history at the University of New South Wales, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education.
Zusak is the author of six books. His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and When Dogs Cry, released between 1999 and 2001, were all published internationally. The Messenger, published in 2002, won the 2003 CBC Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) and the 2003 NSW Premier's Literary Award (Ethel Turner Prize) in Australia and was a runner-up for the Printz Award in America.
The Book Thief was published in 2005 and has since been translated into more than 40 languages. The Book Thief was adapted as a film of the same name in 2013. In 2014, Zusak delivered a Ted Talk, called 'The Failurist' at the Sydney Opera House. It focused on his drafting process and journey to success through writing The Book Thief.
The Messenger (I Am the Messenger in the United States) was published in 2002 and was one of Zusak's first novels. This novel has won awards such as the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards: Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature.
In March 2016 Zusak talked about his then unfinished novel Bridge of Clay. He stated that the book was 90% finished but that, "... I’m a completely different person than the person who wrote The Book Thief. And this is also the scary thing—I’m a different person to the one who started Bridge of Clay eight, nine years ago ... I’ve got to get it done this year, or else I’ll probably finally have to set it aside."
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