Alexander Boldizar just found out that if you look up “ugli” in the Korean dictionary, he’s there.

He was the first Slovak citizen to graduate with a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Since then, he has been an art gallery director in Indonesia, an attorney in California and Prague, a pseudo-geisha in Japan, a hermit in Tennessee, a paleontologist in the Sahara, a porter in the High Arctic, a police-abuse watchdog in New York City, and an editor of the first pan-Asian art magazine. His writing has won the PEN / Nob Hill prize, represented Bread Loaf as a nominee for Best New American Voices, and been shortlisted for a variety of other awards. It appears in Transition Magazine, Fiction International, Literary Imagination, Phantasmagoria, Harper’s Bazaar, The Globe and Mail, Shambhala Sun, Liberty Magazine, C-Arts Magazine, Harvard Law Record, Chicago Quarterly Review, McGill Red Herring, European Journal of International Law, Golden Gate Law Review, and elsewhere (for a total of about one hundred published stories and articles).

Sports: Boldizar won a gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championships (world’s biggest jiu-jitsu tournament), as well as gold medals at the British Columbia Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships (2010 and 2011).

Languages: English (5), Slovak (4), French (4), Czech (3), Indonesian (3), Japanese (2), Spanish (1), German (1), where 1 is a stumbling conversation and 5 is poetry and contracts.


The Harvard Law Record recently did a profile piece on Boldizar, here: “From Law School to Novelist and Art Critic.”

Alexander Boldizar ’99 became recognized by Slovakia’s president as the “first Slovak citizen to graduate from Harvard Law School” when, as he puts it, “small country nepotism” got him back the citizenship he’d abandoned in 1989 (he thought it would be unsafe to keep it during a visit to the crumbling Berlin Wall). Since then, he has managed an art gallery in Bali, established a flourishing career in editing and freelance writing, and has continued to seek publication of his magnum opus, The Ugly, a satirical novel about a dispossessed Siberian tribe that sends one of its members, Muzhduk, to learn the ways of lawyers from HLS, a plotline which helps express Boldizar’s frustrations with law and legal reasoning. Below, Boldizar writes on his path from the law to novelist and art critic, followed by an excerpt from The Ugly.

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More information available in that great Bibliotheca Alexandrina of modern knowledge, that place of the cure of the soul, Wikipedia.