Lev Raphael papers Edit


MSS 375 large


  • 1954-2011 (Creation)
  • 1983-2011 (Creation)


  • 51 Linear Feet (Whole)
    54 boxes



  • Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright is retained by the author of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

  • Preferred Citation

    Item, Folder number and/or title, Box number, Lev Raphael papers, MSS 375, Special Collections, MSU Libraries, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Acquired from Lev Raphael in 2010, 2011, 2012.

  • Processing Information

    The collection was processed by Anne-Marie Rachman in August 2012.

  • Biographical / Historical

    Lev Raphael (b. May 19, 1954) was born and raised in New York City. He earned a BA in English from Fordham University in 1975, an MFA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1978, and a PhD in American Studies from Michigan State University in 1986. He currently resides in Okemos, Michigan. Raphael first came to national prominence as a writer with the publication of his debut collection of short stories, Dancing on Tisha B'Av in 1990, for which he received many accolades, including the Lambda Literary Award; the success of the book established him as a pioneer in writing about the gay Jewish experience in America. Raphael's experiences as a child of Holocaust survivors pervades much of his writing, fiction and non-fiction, including the two novels Winter Eyes and The German Money, and three memoirs, Journeys & Arrivals, Writing a Jewish Life, and My Germany. His shorter pieces - essays, short stories - have been published widely as well. Raphael's prolific abilities as a book reviewer are evidenced by hundreds of published reviews in national magazines and newspapers. In Michigan, Raphael is well known for his Nick Hoffman mystery series set in the fictional town of "Michiganapolis" and inspired by his years studying and teaching at MSU. He is also very familiar to the public for his years as a book reviewer for the Detroit Free Press and for his regular appearances on Michigan public radio shows. A widely acclaimed and anthologized author of over twenty books ranging in genres from memoir to mystery, he has given hundreds of talks, here and abroad, and his books have been translated into a dozen languages.The Lev Raphael Papers reveal the details of a writer's life, from the success of prizes and glowing books reviews, to the disappointments of rejections and the never-ending obligation to promote one's self and one's work. As book publishing moves rapidly into the digital age, this collection preserves the personal and professional details of that life, and reveals how one author navigates the modern varieties of media, from print to radio to the internet, in order to tell the stories that can touch a reader's life.

  • Scope and Contents

    The Lev Raphael Papers span over 40 years of the author's life. The collection consists of 46 boxes of materials including: manuscripts, research materials, book reviews, recordings of interviews with authors and Mr. Raphael, childhood and early life writings, articles, academic papers, awards and recognitions, and personal and professional correspondence. A large collection of books, many of them inscribed to Mr. Raphael by their respective authors, are stored separately and can be accessed through the MSU library catalog.

  • Arrangement

    The collection is arranged into six series: Series I. Writings/recordings, Series II. Correspondence (personal and professional), Series III. Coverage of Lev Raphael, Series IV. Events, Series V. Miscellaneous, Series VI. Recently acquired materials.

  • Accruals

    The MSU Libraries Special Collections continues to add materials to this collection on a regular basis.