Austin Ratner

Now Available in Paperback – A New Novel by Austin Ratner

In the Land of the Living

A Barnes and Noble “What to Read Next” Selection and an iTunes Book of the Month – A dazzling story of fathers, sons, and brothers – bound by love, divided by history. Part family saga, part coming-of-age story, In the Land of the Living is a kinetic, fresh, bawdy yet earnest shot to the heart of a novel about coping with death, and figuring out how and why to live. 

“Ratner casts Auberon’s struggle in mythic terms, mixing Isaac Babel with Chaucerian adventure as he makes his way into the gentrified world of American success. Four stars.”

PAUL WILNER, San Francisco Chronicle

“Hilarious and brilliant … [In the Land of the Living] made me laugh like I did when I was reading Goodbye, Columbus for the first time. A combination of Beckett and Mel Brooks, it defies any reviewer’s abilities to describe … an exuberant, terrific book.”


“Austin Ratner’s In the Land of the Living made me laugh out loud, and it also left me deeply moved. Part vaudeville and part tragic opera, it dances and rages with uncommon wisdom, conveying the pain, comedy, and beauty of familial love across the generations.”

JOHN BURNHAM SCHWARTZ, author of Reservation Road and Northwest Corner

Released 2009 – A Novel by Austin Ratner

The Jump Artist

Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature – The extraordinary tale of a man who transforms himself from a victim of rampant anti-Semitism into a purveyor of the marvelous.

“In The Jump Artist Austin Ratner gives life to a story both emblematic of the horror at the heart of the 20th century—the hunted Jew—and absolutely personal in its particulars—the extraordinary life of Philippe Halsman. Ratner’s great skill is to  give us the panoramic political setting of the life, and at the same time the arresting details, the breathtaking sense of the lived experience. A terrific debut.”

Anna Funder, author of Stasiland and All That I Am!

“This elegantly-written tribute makes as beautiful a use of the darkness and light of one man’s life as a Halsman photograph of a pretty young woman.”


“A deftly constructed portrait of an artist’s extraordinary life … an absorbing read … this is a debut full of promise. Halsman would later become famous for his portraits of people jumping, which he believed unmasked them, exposing their hidden selves. Ratner’s novel is a fitting tribute.”

The Daily Telegraph

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