Santlofer grew up wanting to be an artist, went to art school, undergrad and graduate, and spent the first half of his adult life as a fairly successful painter. When a gallery fire destroyed nearly ten years of his artwork, he became a writer. His first novel, “The Death Artist,” about a serial killer in the New York art world, was an international bestseller. Since then, he has written several novels.
He has also edited and contributed to many anthologies and has even illustrated a few. His memoir, “The Widower’s Notebook,” will be published by Penguin Books in July 2018, and he is at work on a new novel.
Santlofer has lived in many places but always comes back to New York City, one of the most culturally and racially diverse cities in the world. He currently teaches at Pratt in Brooklyn.
If you buy only one book in 2018 it should be “It Occurs to Me That I am America” edited by ex-Brooklynite and Pratt MFA (and current professor of Graphic Novel Writing at Pratt) Jonathan Santlofer. The stories and the art in the book are astute, clever, elegiac, funny, penetrating and heart-wrenching. What they are not is polemical or partisan. The book is not meant only for blue state readers; it is meant for readers in all states. Of all races, religions and ethnic backgrounds. It is meant for dreamers and for the Dreamers. The stories and art in the book do not pontificate – they illuminate. They ask us to step back, consider and, perhaps, reassess. The stories and art stretch beyond the moment to the future. To 2020 and beyond.