Howard Jacobson

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Full name: Howard Jacobson

Area of interest: Society, values, cultural issues (esp. Jewish culture, class identity)

Journals/Organisation: The Independent


Personal website:

Website: Blog:





Education: Stand Grammar School, Whitefield; Downing College, Cambridge (studied under F.R. Leavis)

Career: Worked as an academic before becoming a successful author and commentator

"An acerbic cultural critic with a passion for literature and art, he is known for his ebullient wit as well as his unique take on the Jewish experience in Britain." (source: The Independent)

  • biography (British Council)

Current position/role: Commentator

  • also writes/written for:

Other roles/Main role: Novelist, Broadcaster

Other activities:


Viewpoints/Insight: critical perspective (British Council)

Broadcast media:

  • BBC2: 'Arena' television documentary on Howard Jacobson, 'My Son the Novelist', 1985
  • ITV: 'South Bank Show' edition about The Mighty Walzer, 1999
  • Non-fiction books 'Roots Schmoots: Journeys among the Jews' and 'Seriously funny: from the ridiculous to the sublime' have inspired related television series
  • Channel 4: 'Howard Jacobson Takes on the Turner', 2000
  • ITV: 'South Bank Show' special 'Why the Novel Matters', 2002



  • Extract from following article (1): 'I wonder if I might take robust issue with an article my fellow columnist Johann Hari wrote last week, in which he complained about a “campaign to smear anybody who tries to describe the plight of the Palestinian people”'
  1. Howard Jacobson: If there really is a smear campaign to try to silence the critics of Israel, it isn't working - Call those who disagree with you ‘witch-hunters’ often enough and they will see you as one in turn - 10th May 2008
  2. Johann Hari's article: Israel is suppressing a secret it must face - How did a Jewish state founded 60 years ago end up throwing filth at cowering Palestinians? - The Independent, 28th April 2008
  3. see also Melanie Phillips comments: Whoops, what a giveaway, 8th May 2008


  • Booker Prize winner 2010, appreciation here by Boyd Tonkin
  • Everyman Wodehouse Award for comic writing, 1999 for 'The Mighty Walzer'; Wingate Literary Prize, 2005, 2006, 2007 for 'Kalooki Nights'



Books & Debate:


Howard Jacobson The Making of Henry.jpg


Howard Jacobson Kalooki Nights.jpeg
  • Shakespeare's Magnanimity: Four Tragic Heroes, Their Friends and Families (1978) OCLC 3845150 (co-author Wilbur Sanders)
  • In the Land of Oz (1987) OCLC 15660854
  • Roots Schmoots: Journeys Among Jews (1994) OCLC 59846508
  • Seriously Funny: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime (1997) OCLC 36780833

Howard's page at Amazon ✒

Latest work: Whatever It Is, I Don't Like It: The Best of Howard Jacobson, published by Bloomsbury, 2011



The Independent:

Column name:

Remit/Info: Society, values, cultural issues (esp. Jewish culture, class identity)


Role: Commentator



Website: The Independent / Howard Jacobson

Commissioning editor:

Day published: Saturday

Regularity: Weekly

Column format:

Average length: 1100 words

Articles: 2016

Articles: 2015

Articles: 2014

Articles: 2013

Articles: 2012

Articles: 2011

Articles: 2010

Articles: 2009

Articles: 2008

News & updates:

  • Howard’s end. Howard Jacobson felt like a complete failure — until he won the Man Booker prize. Now, he worries how long his unexpected happiness can last. Interview, Lynn Barber, The Sunday Times, 26th August 2012