For three decades Josef Mengele, the doctor who performed horrific experiments on Auschwitz prisoners, floated through South America until the day he collapsed in the Brazilian surf in 1979. In his new novel, The Disappearance of Josef Mengele, Olivier Guez traces Mengele’s travels during those years in hiding, as he kept two steps ahead of those trying to capture him. Guez will be in conversation with Sam Sacks, Fiction Critic at the Wall Street Journal, about his book and his research.
Olivier Guez is the author of novels and essays translated into more than thirty languages including American Spleen, L’Impossible retour (A History of Jews in Germany since 1945), Praise of Dodging, and The Revolutions of Jacques Koskas. His book The Disappearance of Josef Mengele was the recipient of the 2017 prix Renaudot. It has been translated worldwide and is currently being adapted for the screen. Guez is also the co-author of the screenplay der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer (Fritz Bauer, a German Hero), for which he won the 2016 German Oscar for best script. As a journalist, he has contributed to Le Monde, Point, The New York Times, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and the Corriere della Sera. He has lived in England, Nicaragua, Brussels, Berlin, and Paris, and currently lives in Rome.
Sam Sacks is the Fiction Critic at the Wall Street Journal. His reviews have also appeared in Harper’s, the London Review of Books, the New Republic, and Commentary.