Jennifer Steil

Jennifer Steil is an award-winning author and journalist who lives in many countries (currently Uzbekistan/France/UK). Her new novel, Exile Music, released by Viking in May, has received terrific reviews, including a starred Booklist review, and was chosen by Good Morning America as one of the 25 Novels You'll Want to Read This Summer. It is a finalist for the Eyelands 2020 Book Awards, and was chosen by Art in Fiction as one of the best novels about art in 2020, and by Book Authority as one of 16 Best New Music Books to Read in 2021.

Exile Music follows a family of Austrian Jewish musicians who flee the Nazis in 1939 to find refuge in the Andes of Bolivia. No novel in English has ever explored this overlooked bit of World War Two history, inspired by the few remaining survivors. As Orly and her father find their footing in La Paz, with the help of music, poetry, theatre, and new friends, Orly’s mother grows more distant, harboring a secret that could put their entire family at risk again. Exile Music explores displacement, identity, sexuality, revenge, and how art can help us navigate grief.

“In a sea of Holocaust literature, ‘Exile Music’ stands out as wholly original and engaging.” —Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle
“Moving, evocative, and well-researched, this is sure to linger in readers’ minds long after the last page has been turned.” —Booklist (starred review)

Her previous novel, The Ambassador’s Wife, won the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Best Novel award and the Phillip McMath Post Publication book award. It was shortlisted for both the Bisexual Book Award and the Lascaux Novel Award. The novel has received much acclaim, notably in the Seattle Times, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and The New York Times Book Review. The novel begins with a hostage crisis inspired by Steil’s experience and explores freedom of expression, cultural conflicts, terrorism, art, and gender..

Jennifer’s first book, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (Broadway Books, 2010), a memoir about her time as editor of the Yemen Observer newspaper in Sana’a, was hailed by The New York Times, Newsweek, and the Sydney Morning Herald.

She currently lives in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She is now writing a novel about an underground Bolivian community of LGBTQ artists.

Showing all 2 results