Markus Frank Zusak (born 23 June 1975) is an Australian writer. He is best known for The Book Thief and The Messenger (US title, I Am the Messenger), two novels for young adults which have been international bestsellers. He won the annual Margaret Edwards Award in 2014 for his contribution to young-adult literature published in the US.
Zusak was born in Sydney, Australia. His mother Lisa is originally from Germany and his father Helmut is from Austria. They emigrated to Australia in the late 1950s. Markus is the youngest of four children and has two sisters and one brother. He attended Engadine High School and briefly returned there to teach English while writing. He studied English and History at the University of New South Wales, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education.
Zusak is the author of five books. His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and When Dogs Cry, released between 1999 and 2001, were all published internationally and garnered a number of awards. The Underdog, his first book, took seven years to publish. The Messenger, published in 2002, won the 2003 CBC Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) and the 2003 NSW Premier's Literary Award (Ethel Turner Prize) in Australia and was a runner-up for the Printz Award in America.
The Book Thief was published in 2005 and has been translated into more than 30 languages. Beside winning awards in Australia and overseas, The Book Thief has held the number one position at Amazon.com and on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as in Brazil, Ireland and Taiwan. It has been among the top five best sellers in the UK, Spain, Israel and South Korea, and is still set to be released in many other territories.
Zusak's next novel is reported to be Bridge of Clay.
The Book Thief was adapted as a film of the same name in 2013.