What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank


Englander, Nathan

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
The author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges returns with a commanding new collection of short stories. The title story is a comic classic, a provocative portrait of two marriages in which the holocaust is played out as a devastating parlor game. "Camp Sundown" is an outlandishly dark story of vigilante justice undertaken by a troop of geriatric campers in a bucolic summer enclave who recognize a fellow vacationer as a former Nazi guard. "Free Fruit for Young Widows" is a small, sharp study in evil. "Sister Hills" chronicles the history of the Israeli settlements from the eve of the Yom Kippur war through the present, a political story constructed around the tale of two mothers who strike a terrible bargain to save a child.-- Provided by publisher.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
ISBN: 0307958701
Branch Call Number: FICTION ENGLANDER 2012
Characteristics: 207 p. ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

If you only read one story in this collection, make it the title story. It's fantastic!

Eight short stories with verve, most of them concerned with one or more of these topics: Israel; American Jewry and suburbia; writing and reading; sex, survival.

A diverse yet consistently masterful collection of stories that explore Jewish identity and questions of modern life in ways that can both delight and unsettle the reader. (Pulitzer Prize citation).

From the critics

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Feb 13, 2014
  • uncommonreader rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Eight long short stories, comic, provocative and dense but uneven.

Apr 01, 2013
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

It takes some pretty big matzo balls to invoke both Anne Frank and Raymond Carver in the title of your short story collection. Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" is one of the most discussed and influential modern American short stories and it casts a long shadow, one which Englander can't quite escape in his title story. Thankfully, the other stories in this 2012 collection, most of which focus on Jewish characters, history and themes, are more engaging and original. A worthwhile alternative to the overpraised stories of George Saunders that may appeal to fans of early Philip Roth.

Jul 30, 2012
  • nhoj rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Writing from a very Jewish perspective he tells real stories of Jewish people caught up in life. He sees to the heart of things quickly and usually has a twist in the end. Some stories were "too" jewish for me - I couldn't relate to the characters or sometimes the cultural idiosyncracies.

Jul 15, 2012
  • Carlitos rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Though Nathan Englander's story collection focuses on Jewish characters, its themes are universal, often going from hilarious to heartbreaking in a single story. The title story is especially brilliant.

Feb 14, 2012

Stories about people who live under the cloud of Shoah.


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