Nathan Englander is the author of the internationally bestselling story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and the novel The Ministry of Special Cases.His short fiction has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, and numerous anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Englanders story collection, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, earned him a PEN/Malamud Award and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Englander has been a fellow at the Dorothy & Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and at The American Academy of Berlin. He teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Hunter College, and in the summer, he teachers a course for NYUs Writers in Paris program. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
This biography was last updated on 07/11/2011.
A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.
Nathan Englander discusses God, religion, Israel, and writing For The Relief of Unbearable Urges; and, in a separate interview following, he discusses his first novel, The Ministry of Special Cases (2007).
Tell us about your childhood,
your religious upbringing and how you came to reject it.
I grew up in an Orthodox home in New York, where I had a right-wing, xenophobic, anti-intellectual, fire-and-brimstone, free-thought free, shtetl-mentality, substandard education. And so I began to look elsewhere; I began to read literature. Simple as that.
Was your move to secular life an epiphany?
No, very far from it. I think I took the route Maimonides recommended. I was religious for many years after I started questioning my world. I stayed religious until the first week I set foot in Israel, when I was nineteen. That was the first time I ever got into a car on the Sabbath. I had started veering; I went to a secular college, though I stayed religious there.
Was that a major culture shock for you?
College was unbelievably eye-opening, coming from where I did, though all it really consisted of was meeting my neighbors from Long ...
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
The Angel of Losses
"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.