Wilkes University

Jeff Talarigo

Jeff TalarigoJeff Talarigo


Jeff Talarigo, a novelist, is the author of two novels: The Pearl Diver and The Ginseng Hunter. Talarigo was born in Pennsylvania in 1961 and graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 1983. Over the next seven years, Talarigo worked as a racquetball pro, magazine publisher, in a wood shop, and as a journalist. In 1990, Talarigo embarked on a three-month journey by land from the Gaza Strip to Khartoum, Sudan and back. This was Talarigo's first stay in Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a place where he would return to live in 1993. From 1991 to 2006 Talarigo lived in Kyushu, Japan where he taught English and began writing fiction. The Pearl Diver was published in 2004 (Nan Talese/Doubleday) and was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Award and was a Kiriyama Prize notable book. Talarigo, along with his wife and son, moved back to the United States in 2006. He was awarded a fellowship at the New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. The Ginseng Hunter (published April, 2008, Nan Talese/Doubleday) is his second novel and was placed on the American Library Association's Notable Book List of 2009. His short fiction has been published in many journals, including AGNI and Puerto del Sol, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013. Talarigo's work has been translated into German, Spanish, Hebrew, Thai, and Korean. Currently living in Oakland, CA, his third novel, In the Cemetery of the Orange Trees, was published by Etruscan Press in February, 2018.

Click here to go back to faculty listing