Myriam Anissimov

Joking that she is a Yiddish writer working in French, novelist Myriam Anissimov has been celebrated for her portrayal of the difficulties faced by children of Holocaust survivors. Born in a Swiss refugee camp as Myriam Frydman, Anissimov chose her name at random from a phonebook when she began working as an actress and singer in France in1966, when a producer dismissed her name as being too Jewish. She published her first novel, Comment va Rachel? (How is Rachel?), in 1973, and as of 2015 has published eleven novels, four biographies, and two children’s books. Her biography Primo Levi, la tragédie d'un optimiste (Tragedy of an Optimist), won the WIZO Prize in 1997, and she won both the Anais Segalas Foundation Award and the Jean Freustié Prize in 2000 for Sa Majesté la Mort (Her Majesty, Death). Alongside her career as a novelist, she has worked as a journalist, publishing regularly in journals such as Geo and Le Monde de la musique. In her fiction, Anissimov regularly returns to three themes: French anti-Semitism, family tragedies that are passed down through generations, and children feeling that their struggles are eclipsed by their parents’ suffering.

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Myriam Anissimov in 2014.

Courtesy of ActuaLitté/Wikimedia Commons.

Date of Birth


Writer, Actress, Journalist, Singer

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Myriam Anissimov." (Viewed on May 7, 2021) <>.


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