“What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” by Nathan Englander

Subtitle: stories

Recommended to me by: KBOO interview with Nathan Englander

These beautifully crafted stories are rich, in the sense that I can’t read too many of them at a time. They are heavy with the everyday pain we cause each other, and with the specific pain of Jews and Judaism.

I didn’t read them all, but I’m adding the book anyway because I’m still thinking about the characters and stories I did read.

  • The pioneers (or interlopers) in the West Bank, carving a Jewish city out of Arab land, losing sons to war, to secularism, and to car crashes.
  • The pioneering woman who used the intricacies of Jewish law and the weight of community collusion to bind a younger woman to her service.
  • The man who knows little family history because unpleasant stories are papered over with other stories.
  • The wife who realizes her husband would not hide her from the Nazis if the Holocaust recurred.

Available at Powell’s Books.

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