Author(s): Austin Ratner
Austin Ratner's superbly crafted, prize-winning novel The Jump Artist tells the story of one of the twentieth century's most renowned artists - and a murder trial that shook Europe.
A young man stands unjustly accused of murdering his father. Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann speak out on his behalf. Sigmund Freud is called to testify. The trial that ensues, in which he attempts to clear his name, sends shockwaves throughout Europe. In this crucible of injustice and grief, one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century is formed.
From prison cell and psychological trauma to bohemian Paris at its height and Europe on the eve of war, from tragedy and injustice to freedom and, eventually, to fame, this is the story of The Jump Artist. In this superbly crafted, prize-winning novel, Austin Ratner recreates the remarkable true story of Philippe Halsman, a photographer whose portraits of some of the greatest names of our times - Dali, Einstein and Monroe among them - ensured his enduring fame, but whose renown masked a shocking tragedy that haunted him throughout his life, and a remarkable journey from darkness into the light...
Austin Ratner graduated from John Hopkins School of Medicine but abandoned a burgeoning career as a doctor in order to dedicate himself to his writing of The Jump Artist. Published by a small independent press, this debut novel was picked by Publishers Weekly as one of the ten most promising debuts of the year, met with widespread acclaim and won the $100,000 Sami Rohr Prize. He has since studied at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and his writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and has been honored with the Missouri Review Editors' Prize in Fiction.