Dara Horn (born 1977) is an American novelist, essayist, and professor of literature.

Dara Horn
Darahorn 2005 (cropped).jpg
Born1977 (age 44–45)
New Jersey, US
OccupationAuthor, professor
LanguageEnglish, Hebrew, Yiddish
Alma materHarvard University, Cambridge University

 Literature portal

Early life and educationEdit

Horn was born in New Jersey in 1977, grew up in Short Hills, New Jersey, and attended Millburn High School. Her mother, Susan, was an English teacher with a doctorate. Horn's father, Matthew, is a dentist who learned Chinese history at Temple University in Philadelphia. When Horn was 14 she won a trip to Poland and Israel when she finished first in a competition about Israeli history. Upon her return to the US, she wrote an essay about her trip for Hadassah Magazine that was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 1993.[1]

She received her BA in comparative literature, summa cum laude, in 1999 and her Ph.D. in comparative literature in Hebrew and Yiddish in 2006, both from Harvard University.[2] She finished her master's degree in Hebrew literature at Cambridge University.[3]


She taught classes in Jewish literature and Israeli history at Sarah Lawrence College and the City University of New York. She held the Weinstock visiting professorship in Jewish Studies at Harvard,[4] teaching Yiddish and Hebrew literature. Horn served as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Yeshiva University during the 2019–2020 academic year. She has also been a contributor to the New York Times and The Atlantic.[5]


Horn's first novel, In the Image, published by W. W. Norton when she was 25, received a 2003 National Jewish Book Award,[6] the 2002 Edward Lewis Wallant Award,[3] and the 2003 Reform Judaism Fiction Prize.[7]

Her second novel, The World to Come, also published by W. W. Norton in January 2006, received the 2006 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction,[6] the 2007 Harold U. Ribalow Prize,[8] was selected as an Editors' Choice in The New York Times Book Review and as one of the Best Books of 2006 by the San Francisco Chronicle,[9] and has been translated into eleven languages.

Horn's third novel, All Other Nights, published in April 2009 by W. W. Norton, was selected as an Editors' Choice in the New York Times Book Review.[10]

Her fourth novel, A Guide for the Perplexed, was published in September 2013.[11]

Horn's fifth novel, Eternal Life, was published in January 2018 by W. W. Norton.[4] It was selected as one of The New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2018.[12]

Horn released her first nonfiction book, People Love Dead Jews, in 2021. It is a collection of essays about antisemitism. The book was a finalist for the 2021 Kirkus Prize in nonfiction.[13] The title comes from the first chapter, "People love dead Jews. Living Jews, not so much."

Personal lifeEdit

She lives with her husband, daughter, and three sons in Short Hills. Horn has one brother and two sisters.[1]


  • Horn, Dara (2002). In the Image. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-05106-4.
  • Horn, Dara (2006). The World to Come. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-05107-2.
  • Horn, Dara (2009). All Other Nights. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-06492-1.
  • Horn, Dara (2013). A Guide for the Perplexed. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-06489-6.
  • Horn, Dara (2018). Eternal Life. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-60853-3.
  • Horn, Dara (2021). People Love Dead Jews. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-53157-2.



  1. ^ a b "Horn of Plenty: Short Hills Writer Dara Horn Explores Jewish Culture". New Jersey Monthly. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  2. ^ Bolotnikova, Marina N. (2017-12-08). "A Novel Take on Eternal Life". Harvard Magazine. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  3. ^ a b Pinsker, Sanford (March 21, 2003). "Wallant Worthies Are Instantly Recognizable". The Forward. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  4. ^ a b Bolotnikova, Marina N. (2017-12-08). "A Novel Take on Eternal Life". Harvard Magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
  5. ^ "Acclaimed Author Dr. Dara Horn Comes to Straus Center – Yeshiva University News". Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  6. ^ a b "Past Winners - Fiction". Jewish Book Council. Archived from the original on 2020-05-23. Retrieved 2020-01-20.
  7. ^ "Dara Horn". The Tikvah Fund. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  8. ^ "A Smart, Braided Narrative: Dara Horn's A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED". Fig Tree Books. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  9. ^ "Dara Horn's The World to Come wins Ribalow Prize". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  10. ^ "Editors' Choice". The New York Times. 2009-06-26. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  11. ^ Attenberg, Jami (2013-09-27). "All That We Hold Dear". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  12. ^ "100 Notable Books of 2018". The New York Times. 2018-11-19. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
  13. ^ Ghert-Zand, Renee (September 17, 2021). "'People Love Dead Jews'". Times of Israel. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  14. ^ "Dara Horn: The Theological Art of Storytelling – Global Day of Jewish Learning". www.theglobalday.org. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  15. ^ Harold U. Ribalow Prize. A Listmania! list by N. Roller "Hillel Librarian" (Santa Barbara, California)

External linksEdit