Mark Helprin, a world-renowned novelist known for his expansive, picaresque novels, is an award-winning author whose star is on the rise. The author of eight books and three children’s books, Helprin also contributes short stories and articles to periodicals, including The New Yorker, Esquire, The New Criterion and National Review, and is a contributing editor for The Wall Street Journal. He pursued Middle Eastern studies in graduate school and later served in the British Merchant Navy, and the Israeli Infantry and Air Force.
Majoring in English as an undergraduate at Harvard, Helprin wrote short stories and submitted to various publications with no luck until 1969 when The New Yorker accepted two of his stories at once. These became part of his first book, "A Dove of the East and Other Stories." Critics applauded his grand depictions of nature as a source of strength and healing, and his concern with characters who survive loss, particularly of loved ones.
In 1989, Helprin collaborated with illustrator Chris Van Allsburg on "Swan Lake." The two also combined their talents in 1996’s "A City in Winter" and 1997’s "The Veil of Snows."
He came to the political forefront in 1996 when word leaked out that he was the author of presidential candidate Bob Dole’s strong resignation speech from the U.S. Senate. Helprin’s words widely were credited for adding a temporary recharge to Dole’s struggling campaign.
In 2001 Helprin was awarded the Mightier Pen Award by the Center for Security Policy. The center’s president, Frank Gaffney Jr., stated that Helprin is "one of the most important writers at work today." In reference to Helprin’s receipt of the award, John Elvin noted in Insight on the News that "his creative flair is tempered by intelligence, wisdom and experience." Other notable distinctions include senior fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, fellow of the American Academy in Rome, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, former Guggenheim fellow and senior fellow of the Hudson Institute, and adviser on defense and foreign relations to presidential candidate Bob Dole. He received the National Jewish Book Award and the Prix de Rome, among other prizes.
Translated into more than a dozen languages, his books include "Refiner’s Fire," "Ellis Island and Other Stories," "Winter’s Tale," "A Soldier of the Great War," "Memoir From Antproof Case," "The Pacific and Other Stories" and "Freddy and Fredericka."