Other books byNathan Englander
The Ministry of Special Cases
Kaddish Poznan chips the names off gravestones for a living, removing traces of disreputable ancestors for their more respectable kin. His wife Lillian works in insurance, earning money when people live longer than they fear. As Argentina's Dirty War unfolds around them, their sometimes hilarious misadventures are soon replaced by something much darker. A visit to the dreaded Ministry of Special Cases is only the start of Englander's stunning vision of a nation in the hold of corruption and torture, a place where absurdity, despair and hope are the end products of a bureaucracy run out of control.
For the Relief of Unbearable Urges
One of the most stunning literary debuts of our time, these energized, irreverent, and deliciously inventive stories introduce an astonishing new talent. In the collection's hilarious title story, a Hasidic man gets a special dispensation from his rabbi to see a prostitute. "The Wig" takes an aging wigmaker and makes her, for a single moment, beautiful. In "The Tumblers," Englander envisions a group of Polish Jews herded toward a train bound for the death camps and, in a deft, imaginative twist, turns them into acrobats tumbling out of harm's way. For the Relief of Unbearable Urges is a work of startling authority and imagination--a book that is as wondrous and joyful as it is wrenchingly sad. It hearalds the arrival of a remarkable new storyteller.
For the Relief of Unbearable Urges
Already sold in eight countries around the world, these nine energized, irreverent stories from Nathan Englander introduce an astonishing new talent. In Englander's amazingly taut and ambitious "The Twenty-seventh Man," a clerical error lands earnest, unpublished Pinchas Pelovits in prison with twenty-six writers slated for execution at Stalin's command, and in the grip of torture Pinchas composes a mini-masterpiece, which he recites in one glorious moment before author and audience are simultaneously annihilated. In "The Gilgul of Park Avenue," a Protestant has a religious awakening in the back of a New York taxi. In the collection's hilarious title story, a Hasidic man incensed by his wife's interminable menstrual cycle gets a dispensation from his rabbi to see a prostitute. The stories in For the Relief of Unbearable Urges are powerfully inventive and often haunting, steeped in the weight of Jewish history and in the customs of Orthodox life. But it is in the largeness of their spirit-- a spirit that finds in doubt a doorway to faith, that sees in despair a chance for the heart to deepen--and in the wisdom that so prodigiously transcends the author's twenty-eight years, that these stories are truly remarkable. Nathan Englander envisions a group of Polish Jews herded toward a train bound for Auschwitz and in a deft imaginative twist turns them into acrobats tumbling out of harm's way; he takes an elderly wigmaker and makes her, for a single moment, beautiful. Again and again, Englander does what feels impossible: he finds, wherever he looks, a province beyond death's dominion. For the Relief of Unbearable Urges is a work of stunning authority and imagination--a book that is as wondrous and joyful as it is wrenchingly sad, and that heralds the arrival of a profoundly gifted new storyteller. From the Hardcover edition.
Electric Literature No. 6
Electric Literature's sixth anthology travels highways, the waters of New York's harbors, and the grooves of a burned out LP. In Matt Sumell's "OK," a son visits his stubbornly suicidal father at his flea infested home.In "Where We Missed Was Everywhere," by Mary Otis, a brother and sister seek refuge from a funeral in a Beach Boys classic. The siblings in Marc Basch's "Three" react to one brother's dealings with a kid bully they encounter on a back country road. The subjects of a starvation experiment in Steve Edward's "Daily Bread" find their worlds reduced to the size of their stomachs. And the anthology's final story, "The Reader" by Nathan Englander, chronicles a discouraged author haunted by his one remaining reader.