Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of English
Lev Raphael
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Lev 2007_edited-2.pngAssistant Professor
Creative Writing l 19th Century American Literature l 20th Century and Contemporary Literature l Jewish-American Literature l Holocaust Literature


Office: C646 Wells Hall
Phone: (517) 884-4449
Email: raphael3@msu.edu
Web site

Ph.D. Michigan State University

Lev Raphael is the author of 25 books in many genres: memoir, mystery, literary fiction, short fiction, advice for writers, essay collections, historical fiction, horror, psychology, biography, a teachers' guide, and literary criticism.  His books have been translated into a dozen languages and Deborah Dash Moore, head of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, has hailed him as “a leading figure in American-Jewish Literature.”  He is also an Affiliate Faculty Member of the Jewish Studies Program.

Raphael earned an MFA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he won the Harvey Swados Fiction Prize, awarded by Martha Foley, famed co-founder of Story, for a short story later published in Redbook. He holds a Ph.D. in English from MSU. His first book of short stories Dancing on Tisha B'Av won a Lambda Literary Award. Raphael is also the author of three novels: Winter Eyes, The German Money, Rosedale in Love; a second story collection Secret Anniversaries of the Heart; a biographical/critical study of Edith Wharton; an academic mystery series; and several co-authored books in psychology and education.

Raphael has published hundreds of stories, essays, articles and reviews in a wide range of newspapers, magazines and journals. He won Amelia’s Reed Smith Fiction Prize and International Quarterly’s Crossing Boundaries Prize for Innovative Prose, awarded by D.M. Thomas, author of The White Hotel.  That memoir appears in his collection Writing a Jewish Life.

His short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in over two dozen anthologies in the U.S. and England, and his writing is taught at colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. Raphael’s fiction has also been analyzed in scholarly journals and books, and at conferences like MLA in the U.S. and abroad.  MSU’s Libraries have purchased his current and future literary papers for their archives.

An Edith Wharton scholar, Raphael recently keynoted the international Edith Wharton Society meeting in Florence, Italy.  Raphael has given hundreds of invited readings and talks across North America and Western Europe in more than one language.  He has also keynoted several international Holocaust conferences and has often served as a panelist or moderator at mystery conferences in the U.S. and England. Raphael was a long-time review columnist for the Detroit Free Press and reviewed for Michigan Radio’s Todd Mundt Show, the Washington Post and other news outlets. 

Raphael is the former host and producer of his own public radio book show where some of his guests were Salman Rushdie, Francine Prose, and Erica Jong.  You can find his blogs about writing and publishing at his web site http://www.levraphael.com and he also blogs on books, art, and travel for The Huffington Post.  His 25th book, the thriller Assault With a Deadly Lie, was a finalist for a Midwest Book Award.  He is currently working on another memoir; a new Nick Hoffman mystery; and a historical novel set in 14th-century Flanders.


My Germany: A Jewish Writer Returns to the World His Parents Left Behind

Writers Block is Bunk: A Guide for Authors

Rosedale in Love

The Edith Wharton Murders

The German Money