Friedrich Torberg (1908-1979) was a novelist, poet, essayist, sports journalist, critic, translator and, briefly, a Hollywood screenwriter.
Born, like Franz Kafka, into a German-speaking Jewish family, Torberg began his career in Vienna and Prague (where he also became a champion water polo player). In 1938, facing Nazi persecution, he emigrated to France and eventually to the US. Following a spell in Hollywood with Bertold Brecht and Thomas Mann, Friedrich Torberg worked as a journalist, theatre critic and translator in New York before returning to Vienna in 1951.
Having passed his final-year school exam only at the second attempt, Torberg wrote his debut novel Young Gerber (Der Schüler Gerber) at the startling age of 22; it marked his fiction debut, and was championed by Max Brod and published by Paul Zsolnay in 1930.
From 1951 until his death in 1979, he lived as a celebrated novelist, editor of the anti-communist magazine FORVM and translator (of Ephraim Kishon amongst others). Later works by Torberg include the novels Aunt Jolesch (Tante Jolesch), The Team (Die Mannschaft), Vienna Was that, Too (Auch das War Wien, filmed by Wolfgang Glück in 1986 and nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film), as well as poetry and non-fiction. When he died, he was buried alongside Arthur Schnitzler in Vienna's Central Cemetery.