Biographies and Publications – David Bezmozgis and George Grosz

David Bezmozgis

Born 1973 in Riga, Latvia.
David Bezmozgis’ family emigrates from Latvia to Canada.

Graduates with a B.A. in English Literature from McGill University and an M.F.A. in Screen and Television Writing from the University of Southern California.

Early 2000s
First short stories in magazines like Harper’s, The New Yorker, Zoetrope and The Walrus.

Natasha and other stories, his first short story collection, is published and turns into an international success.
Wins the Commonwealth First Book Prize for Carribean/Canada and the Reform Judaism Award for Jewish Fiction.

Wins the City of Toronto Book Award and receives a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Within the 1st Munk-Goethe Writers Residency, Bezmozgis reads and talks with German author Lena Gorelik at the Goethe-Institut Toronto.

Writes and directs his first feature-length movie, the coming-of-age story Victoria Day.
Invited to a reading and a panel discussion on Jewish identity and culture with Alexej Makshinsky at the International Spring Book Fair in Munich.

Victoria Day premieres at the Sundance Film Festival to much acclaim.

David was included in The New Yorker's 20 Under 40 issue, celebrating the twenty most promising fiction writers under the age of forty.

His first novel, The Free World, is nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, The Governor-General's Award and the Trillium Prize, and wins the Amazon First Novel Award in Canada.

His second novel, The Betrayers,wins the National Jewish Book Award in Fiction.

David’s stories have appeared in numerous publications including The New Yorker, Harpers, Zoetrope All-Story, and The Walrus.

David has appeared at The New Yorker Festival, The UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, and the Luminato Festival. His work has been broadcast on NPR, BBC, and the CBC, and his stories have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2005 & 2006.

David Bezmozgis lives in Toronto.

George Grosz

Born 1893 in Berlin.
After a childhood mostly spent in rural Stolp, Pommeria, George Grosz is expelled from school after a row with a teaching assistant and decides that he wants to go to art school.

Studies at the Royal Academy of Arts in Dresden, but the emphasis on crafts and purely manual copying leaves him unimpressed.

Rents out a studio in Paris for eight months.

Volunteers for military service in 1914, but his enthusiuasm for the war quickly dwindles during his service as an infantryman. Grosz is withdrawn from service for medical reasons in 1915, re-enlisted in 1916 and, finally, permanently discharged in 1917.
Revolted by the surge of German patriotism and anti-British sentiment, Grosz changes his name from Georg to “George”, the anglicisized spelling and pronunciation.

Briefly gets arrested during the socialist Spartacus uprising in Berlin. The same year, he joins the German Communist Party.

Marries Eva Peter.
Joins the emerging Dada movement and adopts the persona of “Dada Death”.

By invitation of party officials, Grosz embarks on a five-month tour of the Soviet Union. The trip leaves him profoundly disillusioned with Communism and upon his return to Germany, Grosz leaves the German Communist Party.
In the following years, Grosz’ paintings and carricatures of everyday life in the Weimar republic – often fiercely political, taking stabs at the authorities – become renowned throughout the world.
At the same time, though, the political climate in Germany has Grosz seeing an increasing number of lawsuits and harrassment.

Together with his wife Eva and his sons Martin and Peter, Grosz emigrates to the United States and works as an art instructor and magazine illustrator in New York.

Becomes a naturalized citizen of the US.

His autobiography A Small Yes and a Big No is published in English translation by Allison and Busby in London. The German edition, Ein kleines Ja und ein großes Nein, is published by Rowohlt in 1955.

Makes his living running an art academy in his home.

Is elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Moves back to Germany. On July 6, he falls down a flight of stairs after a night of heavy drinking and dies from his injuries.