Exile, Writer, Soldier, Spy: Jorge Semprún

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$25.99  $24.17
Arcade Publishing
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.1 X 1.2 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author
Soledad Maura is a Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Williams College. She has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the City University of New York, and is a former Fulbright Senior Research Scholar. She has published three books, including the 2018 biography of Jorge Semprún Exile, Writer, Soldier, Spy which was cited in 2019 one of the top 5 "literary lives" by the Wall Street Journal.
"Fox Maura lays out her questions from the start: "What was it that really led [Semprún] to join the Resistance? How much are his books based on personal memories, or on second-hand information about the Nazi concentration camps? Where does he stand within Holocaust culture, as a non-Jew and as a writer whose testimony is highly fictionalized? Fox Maura's treatment of all this is entertaining, fast-paced, and fully informed."--The Times Literary Supplement

"Engaging . . . Fox Maura's impeccable biography expertly dissects the complex nuances of Semprún's work and experiences, doing justice to a singular life."-Los Angeles Review of Books

"After reading this lively and intriguing biography, I'm amazed that most of us know so little about Jorge Semprún, even though we've likely seen films that he inspired or wrote. This man of great zest, talent, and courage who played so many roles in the crises of his time--underground resister, novelist, cabinet minister and more--reminds me of no one so much as André Malraux. It's a pleasure to have his remarkable life now available to us in English."--Adam Hochschild, author of Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

"Jorge Semprún packed four or five lives into one. Artist, prisoner, freedom fighter, diplomat, organizer--in his eighty-seven years he quite literally embodied the story of a whole continent. Soledad Fox's superb biography tells his story with clarity, grace, and high style, just as Semprún lived. This is an essential book, biography and history told with novelistic precision."--Jonathan Blitzer, writer for The New Yorker

"In this fascinating biography, Soledad Fox demonstrates how Semprún's many lives not only fueled his writing, but also freed him to reinvent them as "auto-fiction." No less important, Fox throws the spotlight on a man little known in the English-speaking world whose extraordinary life and literature mirror the multiple traumas of Europe's 20th century."--Alan Riding, author of And The Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris

"Soledad Fox Maura's portrait of Jorge Semprún is a brilliant dissection of one of the 20th century's most fascinating characters. Through the smoke and mirrors of Semprún's obsessive self invention, Fox Maura brings her judicious eye to bear down on the great chameleon, one-time Communist, aristocrat, Buchenwald survivor, best-selling novelist, Lothario, spy, and Spain's Minister of Culture . . . totally engrossing!"--Gijs van Hensbergen author of Gaudi: The Biography and Guernica: The Biography of a 20th Century Icon

"I devoured this immensely readable book from start to finish on a single bus journey from Madrid to Zamora, and learned more than I have during far more labour-intensive days in the library."--Duncan Wheeler, Professor of Spanish Studies at the University of Leeds

"The most complete possible portrait of an intense and complex life, a voyage through the 20th century seen through the eyes of one of Spain's most internationally relevant and well-known intellectuals."--El Mundo
"This is a very well written biography, thoroughly researched, and both passionate and dispassionate at the same time. Highly recommended."--Interviú

"With the precision of a surgeon, Soledad Fox Maura . . . brings to life the voice of the unforgettable author of Le grand voyage, and former Minister of Culture." --Alternativas Económicas

"Soledad Fox Maura's biography sheds light on the darker corners of this intellectual's life, and puts words where there was only silence."--La Razón

"At last we have the long-overdue story of his life for the English-language reader, in Soledad Fox Maura's authoritative biography."--La Revista
"The only missing element for Semprun-the autobiographer, the acclaimed script-writer who managed to stage his own legend through his films, was a real biography. Fox's work beautifully describes Semprun's rich and multilayered life."--Livres

"In her classic and meticulous investigation of the Spanish writer who used his own life as his subject matter, Fox explores, unravels, and brilliantly sorts out the life lived from the imaginary one."--Le Monde

"At last we have the long-overdue story of Jorge Semprun's life for the English-language readers, in Soledad Fox Maura's brilliant biography."--La Revista

"Soledad Fox has written the fascinating biography of a public man who was as iconoclastic as he was enigmatic."--Marianne

"Exploring never seen archives, Fox has succesfully produced a much need substantial biography of the writer who transformed his own life into literature and film, convinced that auto-fiction was the only way to give voice to true testimony."--L'Humanité