Jacob Silverman

Albahari: The ?slap incident? provokes elaborate escapism for his protagonist.

Bloodsuckers, Serbs and Ghostly Kabbalists

In assessing the work of Serbian-Jewish writer David Albahari, any English-language reader would be working with half a deck. Albahari, who writes in Serbian but has lived in Canada since 1994, has published more than 20 books, including novels, short-story collections, a few books of essays and a children’s book. Only six of these works — a career-spanning short-story collection called “Words Are Something Else” and five novels — have been translated into English.

Pulling Dolly?s Strings: Orly Castel-Bloom exudes a nihilistic mania.

A Wild Beast Of a Novel

Dan Miron, one of Israel’s best-regarded literary critics, once said that he sees in Orly Castel-Bloom’s work “a shout of resistance, a scorn for social norms and public taste.” In Castel-Bloom’s novel “Dolly City” — first published in Israel in 1992 and translated into English for the British audience in 1997 by Dalya Bilu, whose translation is only now finding its way to the United States — that shout is a throat-shredding roar.