Judith Fanto grows up in an idealistic, academic environment. She doesn’t really excel in anything but language, and studying Journalism interests her, but her parents believe that she should use her talent for writing to study a subject ‘that will help her properly understand what she writes about as a journalist.’ So she ends up studying Law, a degree in which her strong expression skills are definitely an advantage.
Fanto studies in Nijmegen, London and Amsterdam and marries Thomas Wermenbol, whose name she adopts because she believes it’s a better fit to her temperament. As a postgraduate, Fanto specializes in Medical Law, after which she compensates her average legal qualities with her great talent for speaking and writing for twenty-five years. Fanto publishes in Medical-Legal magazines, is the editor-in-chief for the paper Eigen!, organizes several Jewish cultural activities and sets up ‘Stichting OPA,’ a foundation that gives children with psychiatric problems the chance to play outside during school holidays.
In 2016, Fanto decides to slow down to dedicate time outside of work to a long cherished dream: writing a novel, loosely based on the history of her colourful Viennese-Jewish family. She names the book ‘Viktor,’ referring to one of the main characters: her grandfather’s mysterious brother, who actually existed in real life.
When Viktor comes out at publishing house Ambo|Anthos in 2020, the novel is an immediate success. Viktor is distinguished with the Hebban Literary Prize for being the best debut novel of 2020 and is nominated for the Bookstore Prize 2021. Viktor is on the German shortlist of the 10 best books of 2021.
At this point, Fanto is working on her second novel, which main theme is not family this time, but friendship: the chosen family.
Would you like to ask or tell Judith Fanto something? Would you like to book her as a speaker or approach her for a piece of writing? Judith Fanto is best reached through the email addresses of her publisher and her literary agent Kitty Bakker.
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