05.09.2012 - Nathan Englander

Earlier this month (we’re talking June now), the Dutch translation of Nathan Englander’s acclaimed new short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk about Anne Frank was published. We very much look forward to welcoming him at BorderKitchen this September.

In What We Talk About When We Talk about Anne Frank Nathan Englander dissects the human soul in eight stories. The title story is a provocative portrait of two marriages in which the Holocaust is played out as a devastating parlor game – a nod to Raymond Carver’s classic story ´What We Talk About When we talk About Love´. In Carver’s story, two couples drink gin and talk about love in an atmosphere that grows increasingly tense, leaving at least one of the speakers irreparably exposed in all his weakness. In Englander´s version, the conversation involves the topics of religion and ethnic identity, together with love and family ties major ingredients in the great questions of life that a lot of people are struggling with. Here, in this story, as in the other stories of the book, these questions are analyzed by Englander in a masterly fashion.

Nathan Englander was born in New York in 1970. He made his literary debut in 1999 with the short story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, followed in 2007 by The Ministry of Special Cases, a novel. This makes What We Talk About When We Talk about Anne Frank only his third book yet, a book that was eagerly welcomed and very well received by colleagues and literary critics alike.

During BorderKitchen, Nathan Englander will be interviewed – in English – by author and journalist Arjan Visser.