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From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills

Growing up Jake Fuchs thought of his father as a screenwriter. At 12, he discovered otherwise.

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Daniel and Jake Fuchs, c. 1940
Daniel and Jake Fuchs, c. 1940

In the 1930s, Daniel Fuchs made a name for himself with a trio of novels about the slums of his native Brooklyn, which earned him raves from critics but little income. Seeking his fortune—or, at least, a comfortable life for his family—he headed out to Hollywood to write screenplays, largely abandoning his literary aspirations.

Over the years, as he penned popular noir films like Crisscross, Fuchs grew to feel that the lives portrayed in his novels were inconsequential. His fans begged to differ. In the 1960s, Irving Howe sparked a Fuchs revival. And more recently, both John Updike and Jonathan Lethem have championed Fuchs’s prose, which has just been reissued in two volumes, The Golden West and The Brooklyn Novels.

Nextbook talks with Daniel Fuchs’s son, Jake Fuchs, also a writer and a retired professor of English, about his father’s life and career. 

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From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills

Growing up Jake Fuchs thought of his father as a screenwriter. At 12, he discovered otherwise.

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