More About the Author
Joel Shatzky was born in Vancouver, Washington in 1943 but was raised in the Bronx. He attended Music and Art High School (now LaGuardia), and Queens College, CUNY, later receiving an MA at the University of Chicago in 1965 and a Ph.D. in dramatic literature from NYU in 1970. He moved to upstate New York with his wife in 1968 and taught at SUNY, Cortland, for the next thirty-seven years, retiring in 2005 as Professor Emeritus.
His first play produced in NYC, "The Day They Traded Seaver," directed by Dino Narrizano in 1979,premiered at Soho Artists. Subsequently, several one-acts of his were produced at Thirteenth Street Rep and One Dream Theatre. In 2006 Shatzky returned to the New York City area and had eight plays produced there in the next two years, including two at Thirteenth Street Rep: "Amahlia," and "Orphans." Shatzky's first professionally produced play was presented in 1976 in London at the ICA Theatre, "It's a Clean, Well-lighted Place," directed by Victoria Bird. He's also had plays produced in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and in Los Angeles at the Improv Theatre. Shatzky, who lost his wife in 2004, is living in Brooklyn and teaches writing and fiction at Kingsborough CC. In 2009 he married Ilana Abramovitch, a college educator. Shatzky's son, Ben, is a lawyer and lives with his wife, Betty, and daughter, Sophia, in Bayside. Shatzky's daughter, Judy, is a social worker who works in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
A prolific author, Shatzky has twelve published books, several of which he collaborated on including a two-volume reference work with Michael Taub: "Contemporary Jewish-American Novelists" and "Contemporary Jewish-American Dramatists and Poets" (Greenwood Press, 1997, 1999). The first of these was judged an "Outstanding Book of 1997" by Choice. Other books include "Iago's Tale: A Fable" (Drybones Press, 2002) and a memoir he wrote with his late wife, Dorothy, "Facing Multiple Sclerosis: Our Longest Journey" (Drybones Press, 1999). His interest in Holocaust Studies led him to edit and publish a memoir by a Holocaust survivor, Susan Cernyak-Spatz, "Protective Custody Prisoner 34042." It was recently adopted by a major German publisher in a German translation. He also edited another Holocaust memoir, by Norbert Troller, "Theresienstadt: Hitler's "Gift" to the Jews" (UNC Press, 1991).
Among Shatzky's other fiction are the novels "Eternal Duet" with Joanne Napoli about the life of Clara and Robert Schumann; "Well of Evil," a young adult novel; "WAM" an imaginary biography of a modern-day Mozart;"Sophia," an epic set during the Russian Revolution; "Intelligent Design: A Fable," a Sci-fi novel set 25,000 years in the future and the recently published "Option Three."