short stories

Short Fiction, Long On Identity And Family

New collections by John J. Clayton, David Shrayer-Petrov and Judith Felsenfeld

08/26/2014
Story Includes Video: 
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John J. Clayton’s short stories have been awarded the O. Henry and Best American Stories prizes; “Radiance” was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. The 10 stories in “Many Seconds into the Future” (Texas Tech University Press), deal almost exclusively with Jewish men, aging, longing, aspiring, regretting, remembering and searching. These are tales of fathers and sons, of brothers, of husbands. Women have names but little color.

New biography suggests that the views of Israel’s first Ashkenazic chief rabbi were more pluralistic, and less nationalistic.

Etgar Keret, In Film And In Person, At Symphony Space

At one point in “Crazy Glue,” a short film by Elizabeth Orne, a young wife who has been involved in an extramarital affair returns home to find that her husband has crazy glued every movable object in their small apartment. The chairs won’t budge, the receiver will not lift off the phone, the fridge won’t open. When she looks up, she finds that her husband has even glued himself to the ceiling, hanging down, waiting for her to return to him.

Etgar Keret is one of Israel's most celebrated writers. Anna Kaim

An Immigrant Tale, From An Ethiopian-Israeli

Dalia Betolin-Sherman’s first collection of short stories, “When the World Turned White,”  brings to life the breathless voice of an immigrant child who, along with her sisters, peers down at a neighbor’s laundry line from the high window sill perch of the southern Israeli absorption center, which her family calls the hostel.  Over the course of seven vignettes, the narrator grows up into a young woman, a voracious reader who grudgingly assists her overbearing mother in answering ads for assembly-line factory jobs.

The cover of "When the World Turned White." Photo courtesy Kinneret, Zemora-Bitan

J'Accuse! Robert Alter on Nathan Englander, a New Literary Feud

When I saw that the new issue of The New Republic had Robert Alter reviewing a new work by Nathan Englander, I instinctively thought it’d be of Englander’s new translation of the Passover Haggadah.  Given that Alter is a widely admired translator of the Hebrew Bible, it was only natural for me to assume as much. 

What We Talk About When We Talk About Nathan Englander

In February, Nathan Englander's much awaited short story collection will be released.  But this week, The New Yorker gets privileged access, publishing a new short story titled "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank."  That's also the title of the upcoming collection, and if the story is any indication of what's in store, readers are in for a major treat.  The story had me riveted, not least because of the communal Jewish d

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