|Jeff Talarigo is the author of two novels: The Pearl Diver and The Ginseng Hunter. Talarigo was born in Pennsylvania in 1961 and graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 1983.
Over the next seven years Talarigo worked as a racquetball pro, magazine publisher, in a wood shop, and as a journalist. In 1990 Talarigo embarked on a three month journey by land from the Gaza Strip to Khartoum, Sudan and back. This was Talarigo’s first stay in Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a place where he would return to live in 1993. From 1991 to 2006 Talarigo lived in Kyushu, Japan where he taught English and began writing fiction.
“The Pearl Diver” was published in 2004 (Nan Talese/Doubleday) and was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Award and was a Kiriyama Prize notable book. Talarigo, along with his wife and son, moved back to the United States in 2006. He was awarded a fellowship at the New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. His second novel, “The Ginseng Hunter” (published April, 2008, Nan Talese/Doubleday), was rated one of the Best Books of 2008 by NPR and was one of the American Library Association's Notable Books for 2009.
Talarigo’s work has been translated in German, Spanish, Hebrew, and Korean. Currently living in Boston, he is at work on his third book, a novel about 20th century Gaza, and has begun research on a fourth novel concerning Chechnya.