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What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne…
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What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories (original 2012; edition 2013)

by Nathan Englander (Author)

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6012324,318 (3.82)65
Member:HartHouseLibrary
Title:What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories
Authors:Nathan Englander (Author)
Info:Vintage (2013), Edition: Reprint, 240 pages
Collections:ART (Art and Architecture), Your library
Rating:
Tags:SS (Short Story)

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories by Nathan Englander (2012)

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» See also 65 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Last year when I was in Brattle Books in Boston I heard a patrician lady say to her granddaughter, I think you'd love Nathan Englander, he's funny and his stories are deep but quick. Such was my experience today. I think part of the reason was the title -- Jesus, I love it -- but I had looked forward to reading this in public. Alas, I went for bicycle ride and returned home beat. I picked this collection up and read straight through.


The Shoah features in at least half of the stories. Some made me chuckle; the last one left me with tears: much like the two GIs who find a survivor in Free Fruit For Young Widows. I thought of other authors which slip into this vein for me personally: Rick Moody, Ken Kalfus, David Bowman. It strikes me that these are but products, designed for the consumer to emote. If only we had an Onion Cellar Club like young Oskar. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
I always think I'm going to find Nathan Englander's stories too specific for my taste, but it's never true. Liked nearly all the pieces in this collection, and even loved a few of them. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
'What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” is the title story in this collection of 8 short stories. All of the stories speak to an aspect of Jewish life and experience, ranging from the legacy of the Holocaust for survivors or their children, the settlement of Israel, or questions of faith and ethics. I liked the final story best. “Free Fruit for Young Widows,” perhaps partly because it follows the weakest story in the collection, “The Reader.” It seems to be an allegory of the transaction between an author and his or her reader, but the use of third person and labels rather than names served to distance this reader from what should have been a more intimate experience. ( )
  cbl_tn | Aug 4, 2018 |
Quick read, brilliant stories, the first story, for me was the best, but they are all chilling. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
I won this book from a giveaway a while ago, and finally got around to reading it. This collection of short-stories was very well written, and quite compelling. As the title implies, the book revolved around issues of the Jewish religion, history, and identity.

Not being Jewish myself, I was unfamiliar with some of the traditions that the book discussed. Nevertheless, some of the stories were rather universal and did speak to me. In particular, I enjoyed the story about the Author, the title story, and the story about the camp.

The stories were very well written, and I was torn between giving it three and four stars, but ultimately decided upon three as the book didn't quite strike me as amazing. I did enjoy it, it just wasn't precisely to my own taste. Others, I know, would quite love it. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
It’s the title story and “Everything I Know About My Family” that point to Mr. Englander’s evolution as a writer, his ability to fuse humor and moral seriousness into a seamless narrative, to incorporate elliptical — yes, Carver-esque — techniques into his arsenal of talents to explore how faith and family (and the stories characters tell about faith and family) ineluctably shape an individual’s identity.
 
Light on technical and formal fireworks, heavy on savoury comedy and possessed of a somehow uncontemporary moral gravity, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank is instead a short story collection of atypical seriousness and grip.
 

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Nathan Englanderprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hoekmeijer, NicoletteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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They're in our house maybe ten minutes and already Mark's lecturing us on the Israeli occupation.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Salué par une critique unanime et l'ensemble de écrivains américains de sa génération , Parlez-moi d'Anne Frank charrie autant de pépites d'émotion, d'humour , de tragédies et de poésie que le précédent et de la maturité en plus .
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307958701, Hardcover)

These eight new stories from the celebrated novelist and short-story writer Nathan Englander display a gifted young author grappling with the great questions of modern life, with a command of language and the imagination that place Englander at the very forefront of contemporary American fiction.
 
The title story, inspired by Raymond Carver’s masterpiece, is a provocative portrait of two marriages in which the Holocaust is played out as a devastating parlor game. In the outlandishly dark “Camp Sundown” vigilante justice is undertaken by a group of geriatric campers in a bucolic summer enclave. “Free Fruit for Young Widows” is a small, sharp study in evil, lovingly told by a father to a son. “Sister Hills” chronicles the history of Israel’s settlements from the eve of the Yom Kippur War through the present, a political fable constructed around the tale of two mothers who strike a terrible bargain to save a child. Marking a return to two of Englander’s classic themes, “Peep Show” and “How We Avenged the Blums” wrestle with sexual longing and ingenuity in the face of adversity and peril. And “Everything I Know About My Family on My Mother’s Side” is suffused with an intimacy and tenderness that break new ground for a writer who seems constantly to be expanding the parameters of what he can achieve in the short form.
 
Beautiful and courageous, funny and achingly sad, Englander’s work is a revelation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:20 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"The author of the sensational national best seller For the Relief of Unbearable Urges returns with a commanding new collection of short stories: What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank establishes Nathan Englander beyond all doubt as the heir to Roth, Malamud, and Babel. A tour de force. The title story, inspired by Carver's masterpiece, 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. A great leap forward from one of our most audacious and important writers, and a sensational literary event"--… (more)

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