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Myriam Anissimov

Author of Primo Levi: Tragedy of an Optimist

Includes the names: Myrian Anissima, Myriam Anissimov

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Myriam Anissimov was born Myriam Frydman to a Jewish family in a refugee camp in Sierre, Switzerland, during World War II. Her father, Itzik (Yankl) Frydman, a tailor and Yiddish writer originally from Poland, had met and married her mother Bella Frocht in France. They were both members of the French Jewish resistance movement and had been forced to flee to Switzerland in 1942. The family returned to France after the war. Myriam chose her pseudonym name at random from a telephone book in 1966. After working as an actress and singer, she published her first novel, Comment va Rachel? (How is Rachel?), in 1973. Since then, she has published 11 novels, four biographies, and two children’s books. Her biography Primo Levi, la tragédie d'un optimiste (Primo Levi, Tragedy of an Optimist), won the WIZO Prize in 1997. For her memoir Sa Majesté la Mort (Her Majesty, Death, 2000), she won the Anais Segalas Foundation Award and the Jean Freustié Prize. She also works as a journalist, publishing regularly in journals such as Geo and Le Monde de la musique. In 1982, she married Gerard Wilgowicz, a musician and conductor. She wrote the preface to the French edition of Suite française (2004) by Irène Némirovsky, which she helped to get published after the manuscript was discovered by the author's daughter.
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