Nosferatu Cover


By Jim Shepard; Hansen Ron (Introduction by)

University of Nebraska Press, Paperback, 9780803293465, 215pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2005

From this prodigiously talented writer comes a stunningly original fictional life of the German director F. W. Murnau (1888-1931). Murnau ranks as a founding father of the cinema, not least for his legendary horror film, "Nosferatu." Here he is revealed as a hermetic genius who turns against himself, becoming in a sense his own vampire. What shadows Jim Shepard's Murnau--through the airfields of the Great War to Berlin in the twenties and to the virtual invention of filmmaking--is the conflict between his impossibly high ideals and his heartbreaking memories of love betrayed and love lost. From provincial Germany through Hollywood in its early days to the South Seas, "Nosferatu" charts a life at once artistic, intellectual, and deeply human. Ron Hansen provides an introduction to this Bison Books edition.

About the Author
Jim Shepard is the author of numerous novels and short stories, including the collections Like You'd Understand, Anyway; Love and Hydrogen; and Batting Against Castro, as well as the novels Project X and Nosferatu. He has won the Story Prize and been nominated for the National Book Award. He lives in Massachusetts and teaches at Williams College.

Praise For Nosferatu

"Jim Shepard wrote a fictional biography of F. W. Murnau, a strange breed of man who made compelling art from life and whose life, it turns out, makes compelling art."—Small Spiral Notebook

"Shepard has so thoroughly mastered the idiom and feel of the period that we seem to be inside a young Thomas Mann novel."—Kirkus

"Mordantly funny and moving."—Entertainment Weekly

"In Nosferatu, F. W. Murnau becomes his own subject—one of the undead, hollowed out and sucked dry by the love he has betrayed. The life, again, informs, deforms, and becomes the work."—New York Times Book Review