Lev Raphael

Author: Lev Raphael

Profile: Lev Raphael was born as Reuben Lewis Steinberg and is an American writer of Jewish heritage. He was born in New York City, New York. Lev Raphael’s has published his work in a range of genres, including murder mysteries, memoir, fiction, fantasy and non-fiction. He is popularly known as one of the most well known LGBT figures in contemporary Jewish American literature. One of the foremost American-Jewish writers to publish fiction about children of Holocaust survivors is Lev Raphael who started to do so in 1978. His most notable works are Dancing on Tisha B’Av, Winter Eyes and My Germany.

His parents were Holocaust survivors, not religious but were culturally Jewish. He changed his name to Lev as an adult and as part of regaining his Jewish heritage. Later on he took on the Raphael surname to reemphasize his Jewishness and gave up his German surname. He completed studies in English at Fordham University and English and creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 1986 he received a PhD. in English from Michigan State University.

He started published a series of mystery novels in the year 1996 centered on an amateur detective investing murders in the academic world and an English professor, Nick Hoffman.

Presently Lev is a visiting professor in creative writing and English in Michigan State University. He worked for The Washington Post and The Detroit Free Press as book reviewer. He published both essays and short stories in a wide range of both Jewish and LGBT publications.

Writing style:

Published Texts:


1992 – Winter Eyes

1996 – Let’s Get Criminal

1997 – The Edith Wharton Murders

1998 – The Death of a Constant Lover

2000 – Little Miss Evil

2001 – Burning Down the House

2003 – The German Money

2004 – Tropic of Murder

2007 – Hot Rocks

2011 – Pride and Prejudice: The Jewess and the Gentile

2011 – Rosedale in Love

2012 – The Vampyre of Gotham

2014 – Assault with a Deadly Lie

Short stories

1990 – Dancing on Tisha B’Av

2006 – Secret Anniversaries of the Heart


1996 – Journeys & Arrivals

2006 – Writing a Jewish Life

2009 – My Germany


Edith Wharton’s Prisoners of Shame

1992 – Stick Up For Yourself!

1995 – Coming Out of Shame

2012 – Book Lust!

2012 – Writer’s Block is Bunk

Awards and Acknowledgements:

Won the Harvey Swados Fiction Prize awarded by the editor of The Best American Short Stories, Martha Foley for the Redbook, short story.

Lambda Literary Award in the Gay Debut Fiction category (for Dancing on Tisha B’Av) in 1990 at the 3rd Lambda Literary Awards

Nominated for Lambdas in the Gay Fiction category in 1992 at the 5th Lambda Literary Awards (for Winter Eyes)

Nominated in the Spirituality category in 1997 at the 9th Lambda Literary Awards (for his memoir Journeys and Arrivals)

Nominated in the Gay Mystery category in 2000 at the 12th Lambda Literary Awards (for The Death of a Constant Lover)

Won the Crossing Boundaries Award from International Quarterly (for Losing My Mother)


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