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Robert Majzels is a novelist, playwright, poet and translator, born in Montréal, Québec, in Canada. He has worked as a lathe operator in a steel plant, a taxi driver, a hospital orderly, an insurance appraiser, a commercial translator and a university professor. In his youth, he was active in political theatre, radical community and political organization, and did a stint with the underground democratic forces in the Philippines. In 1986, he graduated with an MA in English Literature from Concordia University, where he subsequently taught creative writing for thirteen years. From 2000 to 2002, he lived and studied Chinese in Beijing, China. He is presently Associate Professor of Creative Writing in the English Department of the University of Calgary.

Majzels’s work – a continuing exploration of the forms and ethical underpinnings of writing – defies genre classifications. However, as classifications persist, he can be said to be the author of three novels, a full-length play, a collection of poems, and a number of translations, including novels by Anne Dandurand, France Daigle and, with Erin Mouré, three books of poetry by Nicole Brossard. Excerpts from his poetry project entitled 85 have appeared in NO: A Journal of the Arts (#5, 2006), Sleeping Fish (Summer 2006), and fillingStation (Spring 2007), and in the group exhibition Blends & Bridges (Cleveland, Ohio, 2006).

His first two novels, Hellman’s Scrapbook (Cormorant Books, 1992) and City of Forgetting (The Mercury Press, 1997), both received high critical praise. He won the 2000 Governor General’s Award of Canada for Just Fine (House of Anansi, Toronto, 1999), his translation of France Daigle’s novel Pas Pire. His full-length play This Night the Kapo won first prize in both the 1991 Dorothy Silver Awards (Cleveland, Ohio) and the 1994 Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition.

He is also the author of a number of critical articles, including “Brûlons les livres” (Nuit Blanche, automne 2006) and “Anglophones, Francophones, Barbaraphones. Writing in a Broken Language” (Matrix Magazine, Winter 1997).

His fourth novel, The Humbugs Diet (The Mercury Press), was published in 2007. His latest project can be viewed at http://www.85bawu.com.

You can contact him by e-mail at rmajzels@ucalgary.ca

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