David Bezmozgis

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David Bezmozgis
Bezmozgis (left) and Mark Rendall (right), January 19, 2009
Born David Bezmozgis
(1973-06-02) June 2, 1973 (age 42)
Riga, Latvia

David Bezmozgis (born 1973) is a Canadian writer and filmmaker.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Riga, Latvia, he came to Canada with his family when he was six. He graduated with a B.A. in English literature from McGill University. Bezmozgis received an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. In 1999, his first documentary, a 25-minute film called L.A. Mohel, won a major award for student filmmakers.

His first published book is Natasha and Other Stories (2004, ISBN 0-374-28141-6). Stories from that collection first appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's and Zoetrope All-Story.

His story "Natasha," which originally appeared in Harper's, was included in the Best American Short Stories 2005 collection; his story "New Gravestone for an Old Grave," which originally appeared in Zoetrope, was included in the 2006 Best American Stories collection.

Natasha and Other Stories was chosen for inclusion in Canada Reads 2007, where it was championed by Steven Page.

In 2008 he completed his first feature film, Victoria Day, which he wrote and directed. The film stars Mark Rendall.[1] The film had its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Bezmozgis is a 2010 New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow. During his fellowship, Bezmozgis worked on The Betrayers, a novel about a famous Russian Jewish dissident who, after the fall of the Soviet Union, meets the man who denounced him. The novel was published in 2014 by Little, Brown and Company.[2]

Bezmozgis's first novel The Free World was published in 2011. Set in Italy in 1978, Bezmozgis's novel chronicles the experience of Jewish refugees from the USSR. Critics in North America and in Europe have suggested that in this novel Berzmozgis presented through a fictional lens what another Jewish-Soviet immigrant Maxim D. Shrayer had described in his book "Waiting for America" (2007). It was subsequently nominated for the Giller Prize, the Governor General's Literary Award for English-language fiction and the Amazon.ca First Novel Award.

Bezmozgis is among The New Yorker magazine's 2010 top 20 fiction writers under the age of 40. The story "The Train of Their Departure," which the magazine featured in August 2010, is an excerpt from his first novel The Free World, released on April 4, 2011, to wide acclaim. The novel was subsequently shortlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize [3] and for the Governor General's Awards.[4]


Work available online[edit]

Work about Bezmozgis available online[edit]


As writer and director[edit]

Year Film Role Other notes
2008 Victoria Day Writer and Director. A Markham Street Film Production.


External links[edit]