The Ministry of Special Cases: A Novel by Nathan Englander
Reviewed by Ruth Franklin
The New Republic Online
"In one of the best-known stories in For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, the collection of short stories that shot Nathan Englander into the literary stratosphere seven years ago, a middle-aged WASP sitting in a taxicab has the sudden and inexplicable revelation that he is Jewish. The next day he visits a rabbi in Brooklyn, who informs him that he is a gilgul, or reincarnated soul, and sends him off with a copy of The Chosen. But it isn't easy being transcendent: the 'gilgul of Park Avenue' must face various hurdles on his path to the truth, including a maid who prepares creamed chicken..." Read the entire New Republic Online review.