The Forward 50

Nathan Englander

Culture

Nathan Englander

The Forward 50

Though Nathan Englander may identify himself as an “apostate,” one of this 42-year-old author’s greatest talents is his ability to capture the spectrum of Jewish experience. In this year’s story collection, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank,” Englander channeled voices of Israeli settlers, Jewish children and senior citizens, and, in the terrific title story, the voices of two Jewish couples — one Orthodox, one not.

Writing in these pages, Forward managing editor Dan Friedman remarked that the best stories in this collection, which won the 2012 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, “combine superb prose draftsmanship with an ability to draw out a single element to its absurd, sometimes tragic, conclusion.”

This year also saw the publication of the “New American Haggadah,” edited by Jonathan Safran Foer and translated by Englander. Forward columnist Philologos praised Englander’s translation as “clear and simple, with none of the pomposity that too many translations of traditional Jewish texts fall into in an attempt to be uplifting.” This fall also marks the debut of Englander the playwright. He has adapted “The Twenty-Seventh Man,” a story from his 1999 debut collection “For the Relief of Unbearable Urges,” for the Public Theater in New York.

Englander has frequently said that, when his second book, the novel “The Ministry of Special Cases,” was published nine years after his debut, he was relieved to finally become an author of “books” rather than just a “book.” Soon, Englander will be able to say he is also a writer of “plays.” Lincoln Center has commissioned him to adapt the title story in “What We Talk About…” for the stage.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.