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Maxim Jakubowski is a British author, editor and translator who lives in London in a sprawling house full of books, CDs, DVDs and long and dust-attracting magazine runs.
Although born in Barnet, just outside London, just a few miles away from where he now resides, he was principally educated in France where his parents lived, with the exception of a single year studying philosophy at the French Lycee in London, after which he returned to Paris. Following his studies he worked for many years on the export side in the food industry and has travelled almost all over the world in the process. He is trilingual in English, French and Italian (he lived in Italy a few years), and is also fluent in Spanish. His first book, a science fiction opus now best forgotten, was published when he was only sixteen, followed by a decade or so of deserved rejections. He finally gave up the ghost of commerce and jetlag and moved into the publishing industry where he set up the Virgin Books imprint for Richard Branson's Group. He later moved to the Thomson Organization, and worked as Editorial Director and Publishing Director for a variety of lists owned by Hearst and Penguin.
He has been the editor for authors as wide-ranging as William Golding, Peter Ackroyd, Michael Moorcock, Patricia Highsmith, Peter Ustinov, Fay Weldon, J.G. Ballard, David Goodis, Marc Behm, Jim Thompson, Sophie Grigson, Helen Simpson, Cornell Woolrich and many others. He has been responsible for many cult imprints, including Black Box Thrillers, Blue Murder, MaxCrime, Eros Plus and Neon. He is the literary executor for the estate of his late friend the crime author Derek Raymond.
He opened London's first ever mystery bookshop Murder One in 1989 and owned it and ran it until 2009, since when he has been writing and editing full time.
He has written in the science fiction, crime & thriller and erotic field and also published a lot of journalism and non fiction. For 10 years he was the crime columnist for Time Out, London, followed by an 11-year sting as crime reviewer for The Guardian. He has also written on a regular basis for The Times, the Sunday Telegraph and a variety of leading general and specialist magazines. He is a frequent broadcaster on radio and TV in both the UK and France, on subjects ranging from crime writing to erotica, including a TV programme about Italian Noir writing broadcast on BBC4 late in 2010.
He has won the Anthony Award for Best Non Fiction crime book of the year and the Karel Award for contribution to European Science Fiction, and the Erotic Writer of the Year. He has also been the joint director of the Crime Scene annual Film and Literature festival and London's National Film Theatre, where he has also curated several thematic film seasons and interviewed a variety of major directors, writers and actors on stage. He is also a consultant for various European film festivals.
An unconditional appreciator of popular culture (on which he has lectured at Liverpool John Moores University, the Faber Academy and on several creative writing courses), he has always been of the opinion that erotica has as much reasons to be considered seriously from a literary and critical point of view as other areas of popular writing (aside from the fact that erotic elements have always been important when he was writing in other genres such as crime or SF) and in 1991 he approached his publisher Nick Robinson and after a few years convinced him to launch the Mammoth Book of Erotica (initially published simultaneously in the USA by Carrroll & Graf, and later taken on by Running Press) which became a major success and spearheaded the renaissance of modern erotica as a serious genre. This has since been followed by a further 16 volumes to date, as well as in parallel three volumes of his favourite erotic photography. More recently, he edited the Sex in the City series, which has so far covered cities such as London, Paris, New York and Dublin.
His own writing in the erotic field has so far comprised the following titles: collections of short stories Life in the World of Women, Fools for Lust and in E-book format A Washington Square Romance, The Music of Bodies and We Mate in the Dark, and his novels The State of Montana, which sold to Hollywood, Kiss me Sadly and Ekaterina and the Night, as well as the round-robin novel American Casanova.
However his crime thrillers, which seldom feature policemen or happy endings, also have a strong sexual content and include It's You I Want to Kiss, Because She Thought She Loved Me, On Tenderness Express, Confessions of a Romantic Pornographer and I Was Waiting for You. A recently acclaimed title was the non fiction collection of essays Following the Detectives, which was nominated for a major award, and an older title in the same area was One Hundred Great Detectives, which won the Anthony.
He has published over 120 books and is a regular anthologist, in addition to annual Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, including The Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries and the city-based volumes, Paris Noir, London Noir, Rome Noir and, recently, Venice Noir. For a more complete list of his books in and out of the erotic area, there is a fairly accurate bibliography at fantasticfiction.co.uk. His books have been translated into French, Italian, German, Russian, Spanish and Japanese
He also enjoys a strong reputation as a translator from French and Italian where he he has done the English-language versions of books by Emma Becker, Florence Dugas, Michel Jeury, Alexis Nolent, Regine Deforges and Cristiana Formetta.
He can be contacted on Facebook and has finally given in to modernity and set up his own website which should be up and running by the time this runs at www.maximjakubowski.co.uk.
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