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For the Relief of Unbearable Urgesby Nathan Englander
Synopses & Reviews
One of the most stunning literary debuts of our time, these energized, irreverent, and deliciously inventive stories introduce an astonishing new talent.
In the collection's hilarious title story, a Hasidic man gets a special dispensation from his rabbi to see a prostitute. "The Wig" takes an aging wigmaker and makes her, for a single moment, beautiful. In "The Tumblers," Englander envisions a group of Polish Jews herded toward a train bound for the death camps and, in a deft, imaginative twist, turns them into acrobats tumbling out of harm's way.
For the Relief of Unbearable Urges is a work of startling authority and imagination — a book that is as wondrous and joyful as it is wrenchingly sad. It hearalds the arrival of a remarkable new storyteller.
"Englander's voice is distinctly his own — daring, funny and exuberant." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Englander's nine stunningly crafted stories illuminate not just a specific community of Orthodox Jews, but universal relationships and desires." Entertainment Weekly
"Remarkable art....The author fills each of these pieces with vivid life, with characters that jump off the page." Newsday
"[An] extraordinary debut collection...brilliant...hilarious...profound...a revelation of the human condition." New York Times Book Review
A collection of stories by a young American writer. They are centred around the Orthodox Jewish community and span the Jewish experience from the Holocaust and Stalin's Russia to modern-day New York and Jerusalem.
About the Author
Nathan Englander's 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, Englander's 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. He lives in New York City.
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