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Zachary Lazar Edit Profile


Zachary Lazar, American writer. Fellow Hodder fellowship, Princeton University, 2009; Guggenheim fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2009.


Lazar, Zachary was born on May 2, 1968 in Phoenix, Arizona, United States.


AB, Brown University, Providence, 1990. Master of Fine Arts, University Iowa, Iowa City, 1993.


He earned an A.B. degree in Comparative Literature from Brown University (1990) and M.F.A from the University of Iowa Iowa Writer's Workshop (1993). Lazar published his first novel, Aaron, Approximately, in 1998. Appropriating such real-life iconic figures as the early Rolling Stones, Charles Manson acolyte Bobby Beausoleil, and the avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger, "Sway" is a novelistic exploration of the rise and fall of the Sixties counterculture.

It was selected as a best book of 2008 by the Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly, Newsday, Rolling Stone, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and other publications. In 2009, Lazar published the memoir Evening's Empire: The Story of My Father's Murder. It was selected as a Best Book of 2009 by the Chicago Tribune.

Lazar's third novel, I Pity the Poor Immigrant, tells the story of a fictional American journalist whose investigation into the killing of an Israeli poet leads her into a millennia-old history of violence that encompasses the American and Israeli mafias, the biblical figure of King David, the Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky, and the modern state of Israel and its occupation of the Palestinian territories. The book was an Editor's Choice at the New York Times Book Review as well as one of that publications's 100 Notable of 2014. Lazar's articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, BOMB magazine, and elsewhere.

In 2011, he joined the faculty of Tulane University.


  • Fine Arts Work Center, 1994-5James Michener-Copernicus Society Award, 1998Barnes & Noble Discover Award finalist for SwayGuggenheim Fellowship (2009–2010)Hodder Fellow, Princeton University (2009–2010)John Updike Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters (2015).


  • Other Work

    • Author: (novel) Aaron, Approximately (Michener Copernicus award, 1998), Sway, (non-fiction) Evening's Empire: The Story of My Father's Murder.


Married Sarah Lazar, September 16, 1996.

Sarah Lazar