Soma Morgenstern

Author of The Son of the Lost Son

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Soma Morgenstern was born to a Jewish family in a village near Ternopol in Galicia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (present-day Ukraine). His childhood upbringing was religious and also multilingual -- he learned to speak Ukrainian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, and German. He attended the University of Vienna, where he studied law and political science before his education was interrupted by army service in World War I. He finally graduated in 1921 and become a journalist writing in German. Among his assignments was as the Vienna correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung. He moved in intellectual circles in Vienna and was befriended by, among others, Alban Berg, Joseph Roth, and Robert Musil. In 1938, Morgenstern fled the Nazis via France to New York City, where he settled. He wrote a trilogy of novels published in English translation in the USA, The Son of the Lost Son (1946), In My Father’s Pastures (1947), and The Testament of the Lost Son (1950). Other works included Flight into France, a novel-reportage; Joseph Roth's Flight and End, a memoir; Alban Berg and His Idols, memoirs and letters; In Another Time: Youth in East Galicia, an autobiography; and some of his diaries.
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