Mark Kurlansky

Mark Kurlansky (December 7, 1948) is an American journalist and writer of general interest non-fiction. He has written a number of books of fiction and non-fiction. His 1997 book, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World (1997), was an international bestseller and was translated into more than 15 languages. His book Nonviolence: Twenty-five Lessons From the History of a Dangerous Idea (2006) was the non-fiction winner of the 2007 Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Mark Kurlansky
Kurlansky in 2013
Born (1948-12-07) December 7, 1948
Hartford, Connecticut
Occupation
  • Journalist
  • author
GenreNonfiction

Life and work

Kurlansky was born in Hartford, Connecticut on December 7, 1948.[1] He attended Butler University, where he earned a BA in 1970.[1] From 1976 to 1991 he worked as a correspondent in Western Europe for the Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and eventually the Paris-based International Herald Tribune.[1][2] He moved to Mexico in 1982, where he continued to practice journalism. In 2007 he was named the Baruch College Harman writer-in-residence.[1]

Kurlansky wrote his first book, A Continent of Islands, in 1992 and went on to write several more throughout the 1990s. His third work of nonfiction, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, won the 1998 James Beard Award.[3] It became an international bestseller and was translated into more than 15 languages. His work and contribution to Basque identity and culture was recognized in 2001 when the Society of Basque Studies in America named him to the Basque Hall of Fame.[1] That same year, he was awarded an honorary ambassadorship from the Basque government.[1]

As a teenager, Kurlansky called Émile Zola his "hero", and in 2009, he translated one of Zola's novels, The Belly of Paris, whose theme is the food markets of Paris.[4]

Kurlansky's 2009 book, The Food of a Younger Land, with the lengthy subtitle "A portrait of American food – before the national highway system, before chain restaurants, and before frozen food, when the nation's food was seasonal, regional, and traditional – from the lost WPA files", details American foodways in the early 20th century.

Publications

Nonfiction

External video
Presentation by Kurlansky on Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, August 15, 1998, C-SPAN
Presentation by Kurlansky on Salt: A World History, January 29, 2002, C-SPAN
Presentation by Kurlansky on 1968: The Year That Rocked the World, January 14, 2004, C-SPAN
Presentation by Kurlansky on The Food of a Younger Land, May 14, 2009, C-SPAN
Presentation by Kurlansky on Paper: Paging Through History, June 12, 2016, C-SPAN
  • A Continent of Islands: Searching for the Caribbean Destiny (1992), Addison-Wesley Publishing. ISBN 0-201-52396-5
  • A Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry (1995), ISBN 0-201-60898-7
  • Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World (1997), ISBN 0-8027-1326-2[5]
  • The Basque History of the World (1999), ISBN 0-8027-1349-1
  • Salt: A World History (2002), ISBN 0-8027-1373-4[6]
  • 1968: The Year that Rocked the World (2004), ISBN 0-345-45581-9[7]
  • The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell (2006), ISBN 0-345-47638-7
  • Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea (2006), ISBN 978-0-224-07791-0
  • Nonviolence: Twenty-five Lessons From the History of a Dangerous Idea (2006), ISBN 0-679-64335-4
  • The Last Fish Tale: The Fate of the Atlantic and Survival in Gloucester, America's Oldest Fishing Port and Most Original Town (2008), ISBN 0-345-48727-3
  • The Food of a Younger Land (2009), ISBN 1-59448-865-7
  • The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris (2010), ISBN 1-59448-750-2
  • World Without Fish (2011), this work was chosen by many school districts to be used in their curriculum as part of EL education, including Wake County Public School System.
  • What?: Are These the 20 Most Important Questions in Human History—Or Is This a Game of 20 Questions? (2011), ISBN 978-0-8027-7906-9
  • Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn't Want to Be One (2011), ISBN 978-0300136609
  • Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man (2012), ISBN 978-0-385-52705-7
  • Ready for a Brand New Beat: How "Dancing in the Street" Became the Anthem for a Changing America (2013), ISBN 978-1-59448-722-4
  • International Night: A Father and Daughter Cook Their Way Around the World with Talia Kurlansky (2014), ISBN 978-1-620-40027-2
  • Paper: Paging Through History (2016), ISBN 978-0393239614[8]
  • Havana: A Subtropical Delirium (2017), ISBN 978-1632863911
  • Milk!: A 10,000-Year Food Fracas (2018), ISBN 9781632863843
  • Bugless: Why Ladybugs, Butterflies, Fireflies, and Bees are Disappearing (2019), ISBN 978-1547600854
  • Salmon and the Earth: The History of a Common Fate (2020), ISBN 978-1938340864
  • The Unreasonable Virtue of Fly Fishing (2021), ISBN 978-1635573077
  • The Importance of Not Being Ernest: My Life with the Uninvited Hemingway (2022), ISBN 9781642504637

Fiction

  • The White Man in the Tree, and Other Stories (2000), ISBN 0-671-03605-X
  • Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue: A Novel of Pastry, Guilt, and Music (2005), ISBN 0-345-44818-9
  • Edible Stories: A Novel in Sixteen Parts (2010), ISBN 1-59448-488-0
  • City Beasts: Fourteen Stories of Uninvited Wildlife (2015), ISBN 9781594485879

Children's books

  • The Cod's Tale, illustrated by S. D. Schindler (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2001), ISBN 0-399-23476-4
  • The Girl Who Swam to Euskadi (Reno, NV: Center for Basque Studies, 2005), ISBN 1-877802-54-9
  • The Story of Salt, illus. S. D. Schindler (Putnam, 2006), ISBN 0-399-23998-7
  • Battle Fatigue (Walker Books & Co., 2011), ISBN 978-0-8027-2264-5, young-adult historical novel, OCLC 704383968
  • Frozen in Time: Clarence Birdseye's Outrageous Idea About Frozen Food (2014), ISBN 978-0-385-37244-2, 165 pp.

As editor

  • Choice Cuts: A Savory Selection of Food Writing From Around the World and Throughout History (2002), ISBN 0-345-45710-2

As translator

Awards

References

  1. "Contemporary Authors Online". Biography in Context. Gale. 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  2. "The Writers Directory". Biography in Context. Gale. 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  3. "Awards Search | James Beard Foundation". www.jamesbeard.org. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  4. "A Conversation with Mark Kurlansky, translator of Zola’s Classic" Archived January 20, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, conversation with Terrance Gelenter
  5. Wolkomir, Richard. "Review of 'Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World'". Smithsonian. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  6. MacFarlane, Robert (January 20, 2002). "Observer review: Salt by Mark Kurlansky". The Observer. London. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  7. Preston, Peter (April 17, 2004). "Observer review: 1968 by Mark Kurlansky". The Observer. London. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  8. Garfield, Simon (July 3, 2016). "Paper: Paging Through History by Mark Kurlansky – review". The Observer. London. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  9. "Nonviolence: Twenty-five Lessons From the History of a Dangerous Idea, 2007 nonfiction winner"
  10. "Dayton Literary Peace Prize - Mark Kurlansky, 2007 Nonfiction Winner". www.daytonliterarypeaceprize.org. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
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