Markus Zusak

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Markus Zusak
Zusak in 2019
Zusak in 2019
BornMarkus Frank Zusak
(1975-06-23) 23 June 1975 (age 48)
Sydney, Australia
EducationUniversity of New South Wales with a Bachelors of Arts and a diploma of education
Alma materUniversity of New South Wales
Period1999–present day
Notable awardsMargaret A. Edwards Award
SpouseMika Zusak
Children3 children

Markus Zusak (born 23 June 1975) is an Australian writer. He is best known for The Book Thief and The Messenger, two novels that became international bestsellers. He won the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 2014.[1]

Early life[edit]

Zusak was born in Sydney, Australia. His mother Lisa is originally from Germany and his father Helmut is Austrian. They immigrated to Australia in the late 1950s.[2][3] Zusak is the youngest of four children and has two sisters and one brother. He attended Engadine High School and briefly returned there to teach English while writing. He studied English and history at the University of New South Wales, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education.[citation needed]


Zusak is the author of six books. His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and When Dogs Cry, released between 1999 and 2001, were all published internationally.

The Messenger (I Am the Messenger in the United States), published in 2002, won the 2003 CBC Book of the Year Award (Older Readers), the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards: Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature,[4] and was a runner-up for the Printz Award in America.

The Book Thief was published in 2005 and has since been translated into more than 40 languages. The Book Thief was adapted as a film of the same name in 2013. In 2014, Zusak delivered a talk called 'The Failurist' at TEDxSydney at the Sydney Opera House. It focused on his drafting process and journey to success through writing The Book Thief.[5]

In March 2016 Zusak talked about his then unfinished novel Bridge of Clay. He stated that the book was 90% finished but that, "I'm a completely different person than the person who wrote The Book Thief. And this is also the scary thing—I'm a different person to the one who started Bridge of Clay eight, nine years ago ... I've got to get it done this year, or else I'll probably finally have to set it aside."[6]

A TV series based on The Messenger premiered on ABC in 2023.[7] Zusak said his next book would be a "memoir type thing" and not fiction.[7]



In 2014, Zusak won the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association (ALA), which annually recognises an author and "a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature".[1]

In 2006, Zusak was also the recipient of The Sydney Morning Herald's Young Australian Novelist of the Year Award.


  1. ^ a b "Edwards Award 2014". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). American Library Association (ALA).
      "Edwards Award". YALSA. ALA. Retrieved 2015-02-08.
  2. ^ "The Angel of Death Narrates a New Tale for Young Readers –". 21 April 2007. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Biography of Markus Zusak | List of Works, Study Guides & Essays". GradeSaver. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  4. ^ wiki
  5. ^ Markus Zusak. "The Failurist: Markus Zusak". TED Sydney. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  6. ^ "The Book Thief 10 Years Later: Markus Zusak Reflects on His Iconic Novel 14 March 2016". Paste Magazine. 13 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  7. ^ a b Wearring, Myles (27 May 2023). "Author Markus Zusak knocked back Hollywood to make The Messenger TV series in Australia". ABC News. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  8. ^ "Kathleen Mitchell Award 2006 (literature)". Cauz Group Pty Limited ( Archived from the original on 19 May 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
  9. ^ "Past Winners". Jewish Book Council. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Michael L. Printz Winners and Honor Books". YALSA. ALA.
      "The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature". YALSA. ALA. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  11. ^ IBBY Australia Archived 22 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine at Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
  12. ^ a b "Winners 2000–2006 CBCA". Children's Book Council of Australia. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010.