Markus Zusak is a 42 year old australian and german author. Zusak was born on June 23, 1975.
His hobbies are surfing and playing soccer He is the youngest of four siblings and has immigrant parents. Both of Zusak’s parents experienced WW2 for themselves in their own countries. He incorporated their experiences into The Book Thief.
His mother told him stories about how Munich was bombed and how the Jewish walked through Munich to get to Dachau. This correlates to Himmel Street being bombed and the Jews walking through Molching, Germany in the book. His Australian father was a house painter similar to Hans in the book as well. The Book Thief wasn’t a book he’d usually write, however his parent’s stories inspired him.
Also, he used death as the narrator of the book because he felt that Liesel had too much of Australian impact on her character.His main book genres are young adult fiction and adult fiction. He was 16 when he began writing fiction even though his parents were illiterate when they arrived in Australia. However, Zusak pursued english and learned it very well. Zusak said in an interview that he likes to read 4 or 5 books at once while he is writing a book.
He was inspired by the books The Old Man and The Sea and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape to begin his writing career. The Underdog was Zusak’s first novel which he published in 1999 after seven years of rejections from publishers. In this book he bases the main character off of him and his brother. In The Underdog the main character Cameron is trying to define himself within society and his family exactly like Liesel in The Book Thief. Establishing an identity is a popular theme in Zusak’s books Some of his other books published are Fighting Ruben Wolfe, When Dogs Cry, The Book Thief, and The Messenger. His book The Messenger received a Michael L. Printz award. This book was also about finding his purpose in life.
In addition, The Book Thief sold a million copies in the United States and also received many awards such as Printz honors award, Kathleen Mitchell award, and Best Book by the School Library Journal. Zusak wrote the first 90 pages of The Book Thief over one hundred times to make it the way he felt it had the most impact on the reader. The awards he received were given for literary excellence because he learned from his mistakes and made the best of them. As of now, Zusak still writes fiction in Australia and has a wife and daughter. His advice to future writers is let failure be your friend.