Peter Stephan Jungk

Writer - Fiction and Non-fiction

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Associate: Seren Adams


Peter Stephan Jungk was born in 1952 in Los Angeles and raised in several European cities. In 1974 he moved to Los Angeles and studied at UCLA and the American Film Institute, before releasing his first collection of short stories in 1978. Since then, he has written a further eight books, including THE SNOWFLAKE CONSTANT, CROSSING THE HUDSON, and, most recently, THE INHERITANCE. His fictional biography of Walt Disney’s last months, THE PERFECT AMERICAN, was developed into an opera for performance in Madrid and London by Philip Glass.

Praise for THE INHERITANCE (2010):

'Jungk is an extraordinarily inventive novelist and 'The Inheritance', beautifully translated by Michael Hofmann, is one of his most brilliant creations: at once a gripping international intrigue and a witty, touching novel of human relations' James Lasdun

'Jungk is a subtle satirist; he is a keen observer of the human comedy' Arnon Grunberg

'Jungk illuminates the relationship between the swindler and the swindled with a bittersweet skill and grace' Julia Leigh


Publication DetailsNotes

Zsolnay / Hauser

Unconventional in its presentation, elegant and light-footed in its execution, Peter Stephan Jungk’s novel takes the form of a dialogue between a man and his heart. The man, a Jewish playwright in his early fifties has developed a feverish obsession for the girl who delivers his post. She is a Muslim, much younger than him, and married. Farah, feels drawn to him, but circumstances and common sense dictate that she should stay well away from him. To win her over, the man promises to tell her the story of his life - so he and his heart set to work ...


Pushkin Press

A terse, gripping thriller centred around a London-based poet, David Loew, who is cheated out of the enormous inheritance promised by his wealthy Venezuelan uncle. His battle to regain it takes him on a breakneck journey across the world, set against the tumultuous backdrop of Hugo Chavez's attempted 1992 military coup.


The Other Press

Gustav Rubin, a Viennese fur dealer, must confront his personal failings and the influence of his parents in this delightfully inventive novel. His mother's impossible nature and his recently deceased father's enormous and unreconciled presence over him give this book psychological depth and symbolic resonance and bring issues of family and religion into close but tender focus.


The Other Press

A stylised fictional biography of Walt Disney which blurs the boundaries between fact and fantasy. It is presented as an exopse by its narrator, Wilhelm Dantine, who intends to reveal Disney as a racist, bullying megalomaniac who lets nothing stand in his way. As the novel progresses, however, it becomes clear that Dantine has his own scores to settle ...


Faber & Faber

An extraordinarily ambitious novel. It charts the academic decline of a mathematician who is overwhelmed by the proliferation of new theories and abandons his career to forge a new life - in the theatre. There, however, he experiences a vision which drives him on to a far greater metaphysical quest ...

A finalist for the British Foreign Book Award.


Publication DetailsNotes



Grove Press / Weidenfeld

A biography of the writer Franz Werfel. When Werfel passed away in 1945 he was pre-eminent among German writers; since his death, however, his reputation has faded to a shadow of its former self. Jungk's formidable and meticulously-researched biography shows what a fascinating character Werfel was - but, ironically, he also offers many clues as to why Werfel's star no longer shines so brightly, and probably never will again.


Times Books

A rite of passage in Jerusalem.