Dan Jacobson (born 7 March 1929 in Johannesburg, South Africa) is a novelist, short story writer, critic and essayist. He has lived in Great Britain for most of his adult life, and for many years held a professorship in the English Department at University College London. He has also spent periods as a visiting writer or a guest-professor at universities in the United States, Australia, and South Africa, and has given lectures and readings in many other countries.
His early novels, including The Trap, his first published novel, focus on South African themes. His later works have been various in kind: they include works of fantasy and fictional treatments of historical episodes, as well as memoirs, critical essays, and travel books. Among the awards and prizes he has received are the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 1959 (A Long Way from London and Other Stories); Somerset Maugham Award 1964 (Time of Arrival and Other Essays); The Jewish Chronicle Award 1977 (The Confessions of Josef Baisz); the J. R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography 1986 (Time and Time Again). In the year 2000 he edited and translated from the Dutch Een mond vol Glas by Henk van Woerden, an imaginative re-creation of the circumstances leading to the assassination of a South African president, Dr Hendrik Verwoerd, in the country's House of Assembly.
Dan Jacobson has received an Honorary D. Litt. from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and on retirement from his position at University College London was elected a Fellow of the college. Collections of his papers can be found at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Austen, Texas; Oxford University, England; and, in South Africa, at Witwatersrand University Library, Johannesburg, the National English Literary Museum, Grahamstown, and the Africana Museum, Kimberley.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2007.