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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

'Every Page A Gem'

“I like the idea that every page in every book can have a gem on it. It's probably what I love most about writing - that words can be used in a way that's like a child playing in a sandpit, rearranging things, swapping them around.”  Markus Zusak

The Book Thief, Zusak's heart-wrenching novel about the awful years in Germany during the late 1930s and through World War II, was written when he was still in 20s.  Published in 2005, the novel followed on the heels of two other award-winning novels I Am the Messenger and When Dogs Cry.   Born in Australia on this date in 1975, Zusak has written half-a-dozen best sellers.  The Book Thief alone was on the New York Times bestseller list for a remarkable 375 weeks.  
 His writing career is a testament to perserverance and “knowing that a story is    
worth fighting to get published.”  He wrote When Dogs Cry as a teenager and it took him 7 years to get it accepted.  Since then it’s not only sold continuously but also won many awards around the globe, as has Zusak, who was named for the annual Margaret Edwards Award in 2014 for his contribution to young-adult literature.    “I try hard and aim big,” Zusak said.   “People can hate or love my books but they can never accuse me of not trying.”

“Failure has been my best friend as a writer,” he said after finally getting When Dogs Cry published.  “It tests you, to see if you have what it takes to see it through.” 


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