Ludwik Begleiter Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Louis Begley (born Ludwik Begleiter) was still a child when Nazi Germany occupied Poland and began persecuting the Jewish population. His father, a physician, was sent to Russia and returned in 1946, when the family emigrated to the United States. Louis became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1953, attended Harvard University, and graduated in 1954. After two years in the U.S. Army, he returned to Harvard, earning a law degree in 1959. In 1956 he married Sally Higginson and joined a New York law firm, becoming a full partner in 1968. He and his first wife had three children before they divorced in 1970. Four years later, he married Anne Muhlstein Dujarric de la Rivière, a French writer. In addition to practicing international corporate law and traveling the world, Begley established himself as an accomplished novelist, beginning with Wartime Lies, which he wrote when he was fifty-five years old. He also contributed regularly to prestigious periodicals and served as a senior visiting lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania from 1985 to 1986.

In the decade following the publication of his first novel, Begley received a number of awards and honors, beginning with the International Fiction Prize from Irish Times-Aer Lingus. Wartime Lies won the Harold U. Ribatow Prize as well as the PEN/Hemingway First Fiction Award and the Prix Medicis Étranger. The American Academy of Arts and Letters gave him its Award in Literature in 1995,...

(The entire section is 554 words.)