Nathan Englander biography

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Nathan Englander
Photo: Elena Seibert

Nathan Englander

Nathan Englander Biography

Nathan Englander's most recent novel is kaddish.com, out March 26, 2019. He is also the author of the Dinner at the Center of the Earth, the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, as well as the internationally bestselling story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, and the novel The Ministry of Special Cases (all published by Knopf/Vintage). He was the 2012 recipient of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for What We Talk About. His short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Washington Post, as well as The O. Henry Prize Stories and numerous editions of The Best American Short Stories, including 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories. Translated into twenty languages, Englander was selected as one of "20 Writers for the 21st Century" by The New Yorker, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Award, the Bard Fiction Prize, and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters.

He's 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. In 2012 Englander's play The Twenty-Seventh Man premiered at The Public Theater, and his translation New American Haggadah (edited by Jonathan Safran Foer) was published by Little Brown. He also co-translated Etgar Keret's Suddenly A Knock at the Door, published by FSG. He is Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at New York University, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter.

From the author's website, March 2019

Nathan Englander's website

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Interview

Two interesting interviews: First, Nathan Englander discusses God, religion, Israel, and his collection of short stories, For The Relief of Unbearable Urges (1999). Secondly, he talks about his first novel, The Ministry of Special Cases (2007), set in the 1970s during Argentina's "Dirty War".

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 Island. It wasn't exactly the U.N. up there. But, at the time, it was wonderful.

You then moved to Israel and became secular, yet you choose to live in the most religious city in the country, if not the world.

Jerusalem ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Nathan Englander at BookBrowse
kaddish.com jacket Dinner at the Center of the Earth jacket What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank jacket The Ministry of Special Cases jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Nathan Englander but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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