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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nicole Krauss (born 1974) is an American author best known for her novels The History of Love (2005) and Man Walks into a Room (2002). Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, and Granta's Best American Novelists Under 40, and has been collected in Best American Short Stories (2003 and 2008). Her novels have been translated into thirty-five languages.




Early Life

Krauss was born in New York City to an English mother and an American father who grew up partly in Israel. Krauss's maternal grandparents were born in Germany and Ukraine and later emigrated to London. Her paternal grandparents were born in Hungary and Slonim, Belarus, met in Israel, and later emigrated to New York. Many of these places are central to Krauss's 2005 novel, The History of Love, and the book is dedicated to her grandparents.

At the age of 14 Krauss became serious about writing. Until she began her first novel in 2002, Krauss wrote and published mainly poetry.

Krauss enrolled in Stanford University in 1992, and that fall she met Joseph Brodsky who worked closely with her on her poetry over the next three years. He also introduced her to such writers as Italo Calvino and Zbigniew Herbert, who had a lasting influence on her. In 1999, three years after Brodsky died, Krauss produced a documentary about his work for BBC Radio 3, traveling to St. Petersburg where she stood in the "room and a half" where he grew up, made famous by his essay of that title. Krauss majored in English and graduated with Honors, winning a number of undergraduate prizes for her poetry as well as the Dean's Award for academic achievement.

In 1996, she was awarded a Marshall Scholarship and enrolled in a Masters program at Oxford University where she wrote her thesis about the American artist Joseph Cornell. During the second year of her scholarship she attended the Courtauld Institute in London, where she received a Masters in Art History, specializing in seventeenth-century Dutch art, and writing a thesis on Rembrandt.


In 2002, Krauss published her critically-acclaimed first novel, Man Walks Into a Room, which tells the story of Samson Greene, a professor of English at Columbia University found wandering the Nevada desert with a brain tumor. When doctors remove it, his memory past the age of twelve is obliterated, and he returns home to New York to a wife he doesn't remember. A meditation on memory and personal history, solitude and intimacy, the novel was won praise from Susan Sontag, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. The movie rights to the novel were optioned by Richard Gere.

The History of Love was first published as an excerpt in The New Yorker in 2004, which sparked auctions among publishers worldwide, with Norton winning in America. The novel weaves together the stories of Leo Gursky, an 80-year-old Jewish survivor from Slonim, the young Alma Singer who is coping with the death of her father, and the story of a lost manuscript also called The History of Love. The novel was an international bestseller, and won numerous awards. The book was optioned by Warner Brothers and is set to be directed by Alfonso Cuarón[1]

Personal Life

In 2004, Krauss married the novelist Jonathan Safran Foer. They live in Park Slope in Brooklyn, New York, and have two children.


Short Stories


  • Saroyan International Prize for Writing, 2008
  • Granta's Best American Novelists under 40, 2007
  • Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger (France), 2006
  • Medicis Prize shortlist (France), 2006
  • Femina Prize shortlist (France), 2006
  • Orange Prize shortlist (U.K.), 2006
  • Los Angeles Times Book of the Year (for Man Walks Into a Room), 2002
  • Named "Best and Brightest" writer by Esquire Magazine, 2002


  1. ^ Fleming, Michael; Cathy Dunkley (January 20, 2005). "WB buys book of 'Love'". Variety. Retrieved 2007-06-03.  

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Nicole Krauss (born 1974) is an American writer.


The History of Love (2005)

  • All I want is not to die on a day when I went unseen. [citation needed]
    • P. 5
  • The words of our childhood became strangers to us- we couldn't use them in the same way and so we chose not to use them at all. Life demanded a new language. [citation needed]
  • When I got older I decided I wanted to be a real writer. I tried to write about real things. I wanted to describe the world, because to live in an undescribed world was too lonely.
    • P. 7
  • Even after the only person whose opinion I cared about left on a boat for America, I continued to fill pages with her name.
    • P. 8
  • When I got up again, I'd shed the only part of me that had ever thought I'd find words for even the smallest bit of life.
    • P. 8
  • Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.
    • P. 11
  • These things were lost to oblivion like so much about so many who are born and die without anyone ever taking the time to write it all down.
    • P. 70
  • Perhaps that is what it means to be a father- to teach your child to live without you. If so, no one was a greater father than I.
    • P. 164
  • Franz Kafka is dead.

    He died in a tree from which he wouldn't come down. "Come down!" they cried to him. "Come down! Come down!" Silence filled the night, and the night filled the silence, while they waited for Kafka to speak. "I can't," he finally said, with a note of wistfulness. "Why?" they cried. Stars spilled across the black sky. "Because then you'll stop asking for me." The people whispered and nodded among themselves. [...] They turned and started for home under the canopy of leaves. Children were carried on their fathers' shoulders, sleepy from having been taken to see who wrote his books on pieces of bark he tore off the tree from which he refused to come down. In his delicate, beautiful, illegible handwriting. And they admired those books, and they admired his will and stamina. After all: who doesn't wish to make a spectacle of his loneliness? One by one families broke off with a good night and a squeeze of the hands, suddenly grateful for the company of neighbors. Doors closed to warm houses. Candles were lit in windows. Far off, in his perch in the trees, Kafka listened to it all: the rustle of the clothes being dropped to the floor, or lips fluttering along naked shoulders, beds creaking along the weight of tenderness. That night a freezing wind blew in. When the children woke up, they went to the window and found the world encased in ice.

    • P. 187
  • Sometimes I forget that the world is not on the same schedule as I. That everything is not dying, or that if it is dying it will return to life, what with a little sun and the usual encouragement.
  • P. 349
  • Sometimes I think: I am older than this tree, older than this bench, older than the rain. And yet. I'm not older than the rain. It's been falling for years and after I go it will keep on falling.
  • P. 349
  • The little boy I watched throwing pebbles into the empty fountain [...] You could tell that he had too much wisdom for his age. Probably he believed that he wasn't made for this world. I wanted to say to him: If not you, who?
  • P. 351

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