Released 2009 – A Novel by Austin Ratner

The Jump Artist

Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature – The extraordinary tale of a man who transforms himself from a victim of rampant anti-Semitism into a purveyor of the marvelous.

“In The Jump Artist Austin Ratner gives life to a story both emblematic of the horror at the heart of the 20th century—the hunted Jew—and absolutely personal in its particulars—the extraordinary life of Philippe Halsman. Ratner’s great skill is to  give us the panoramic political setting of the life, and at the same time the arresting details, the breathtaking sense of the lived experience. A terrific debut.”

Anna Funder, author of Stasiland and All That I Am!

“This elegantly-written tribute makes as beautiful a use of the darkness and light of one man’s life as a Halsman photograph of a pretty young woman.”


“A deftly constructed portrait of an artist’s extraordinary life … an absorbing read … this is a debut full of promise. Halsman would later become famous for his portraits of people jumping, which he believed unmasked them, exposing their hidden selves. Ratner’s novel is a fitting tribute.”

The Daily Telegraph