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Benjamin Markovits

Event organiser(s): Michael Kalisch

Worcester College, Oxford, UK


Event Details

Benjamin Markovits is a leading Anglo-American novelist with a uniquely varied and ambitious body of work, ranging from historical fictions on the life of Lord Byron, to an account of gentrification in Obama-era Detroit (You Don’t Have to Live Like This, 2015), to intimate portraits of family life (A Weekend in New York, 2018; Christmas in Austin, 2019). Markovits’ interests are broad and eclectic. Drawing on his short-lived career as a semi-professional basketball player, he has written regularly about sport in both his fiction (Playing Days, 2011) and non-fiction, while much of his writing is preoccupied with themes of identity and belonging, reflecting his transatlantic upbringing and evolving relationship to his Jewish roots. A Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London, and a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, and New Left Review, Markovits was selected by Granta as one of the Best of Young British Novelists in 2013, and won the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction in 2015. Yet despite these accolades, Markovits’ work has not received sustained scholarly attention. This essay collection aims to change that, and to begin a critical conversation about Markovits’ place in the contemporary literary field. The volume will be published by Gylphi, in the well-established Contemporary Writers: Critical Essays series.

Proposals for essays of 6-7000 words on any aspect of Markovits’ work are now invited. The collection aims to address Markovits’ entire oeuvre, and essays on earlier novels are particularly welcome. Please send 250-word abstracts to Dr Michael Kalisch at by 18th May 2020. Completed essays are due 31st May 2021. Please include your name, email address, affiliation, and the title of your essay.

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