Markus Zusak: I Thought This Would Be My Least Successful Book

Markus Zusak: I Thought This Would Be My Least Successful Book

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It's an achievement to top The New York Times Best Seller list for a week or two, but Markus Zusak has done more than that. His acclaimed novel "The Book Thief" spent 230 weeks on top of that list and is being made into a feature film just in time for this year's Oscar race.

Steve asked Markus what inspired him to write this book set in Nazi Germany, especially since he was raised in Sydney, Australia. The author says his parents told him powerful stories when he was ten years old...and he never forgot them.

"My mom told a story about a young boy who ran into his house and got a piece of bread and gave it to an old jewish man who had been taken through the street, who then got down on his hands and knees and thanked him and grabbed him by the ankles...and then both of them were whipped. One for taking the bread...the boy was chased down and whipped for giving it...it's such a tragic yet beautiful moment, you bring those two things together, you have human."

Maria asked him about his unusual choice of narrator in the book: Death. Markus says it only made sense given the subject matter.

"I thought who better to write this story set during wartime and the idea really started to work when I thought he's trying to find the beautiful glimpses of people even in this ugly time."

Markus says he's also very excited to see the movie when it opens and doesn't plan to see it until it's completely finished.

"I've always loved books and I've always loved films and so for the two things to come together over this book is really special...I've seen the trailer and I could have seen the film by now just as a rough cut but I don't want to see it until it's 100 percent done."

Markus also talks about where and when he will be speaking this weekend, to talk and answer questions about his book and the upcoming movie.

Fun Facts About Markus Zusak:

  • He is an Australian author. He is best known for his books The Book Thief and The Messenger (published in USA as I Am the Messenger), which have been international bestsellers.
  • The Underdog, his 1st book, took seven years to publish.
  • In 2005, The Book Thief was released and is now translated into over 30 languages. As well as receiving awards in Australia and overseas, The Book Thief has held the number one position at Amazon.com, the New York Times bestseller list, as well as in Brazil, Ireland and Taiwan. It has been in the top five in the UK, Spain, Israel and South Korea, and is still set to be released in many other territories.
  • The Book Thief is scheduled to be turned into a film.

(Source: Wikipedia)

You get a couple of chances to meet Markus tomorrow night he'll speak at the Pilgrim School beginning at 7:00pm. If you can't catch him there, he'll have a book signing and Q and A at the Museum Of Tolerance Sunday night, also starting at 7:00pm.

The film adaptation of ‘The Book Thief' hits theaters in November.

You can follow Markus on Twitter: @Markus Zusak

@BookThiefMovie

Facebook: MarkusZusak

TheBookThiefMovie

Tumblr: zusakabooks

 


 

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