Traven, B., 1890–1969, German language novelist. During his life Traven refused to divulge any information concerning himself. His birth name is still uncertain, as is his birthplace. As Ret Marut he was involved in Communist uprisings in Germany after World War I. In the 1920s he moved to Mexico, where he lived for the remainder of his life, assuming the name B. Traven. On his passport, he claimed his given name was Berick Traven Torsvan, though this is now thought to have been another subterfuge. His novels are often set in exotic locations and usually treat exploiters and those they exploit. Among his works are The Death Ship (1926, tr. 1934), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1927, tr. 1935), The Rebellion of the Hanged (1934, tr. 1952), and The Night Visitors (tr. 1966).
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