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Ask for a Convertible: Stories
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Ask for a Convertible: Stories

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  20 reviews
In these connected stories, Danit Brown introduces Osnat Greenberg: a slightly fatalistic, darkly funny, and utterly winning heroine who is struggling to find her place in the world.In the 1980s, Osnat moves with her American father and Israeli mother from Tel Aviv to Michigan. As the perspective shifts among the characters - spanning fifteen years, returning to Israel and ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2008)
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These stories are yearning to be turned into a novel. Why didn't she let them take their natural shape? I don't get it, but I'm not that bothered, because the writing here is so fresh and good. Every two pages or so, you get an OHMYGODEXACTLY! moment. That's a pretty unbeatable percentage.
I've been waiting for *months* to read this collection, ever since I saw a sampling of Danit Brown's stories in Nextbook, and this did not disappoint.

The stories in this book more or less revolve around a girl named Osnat, an Israeli who moves to America with her parents (mother from Israel, father from America) when she is 13, and follows her through her school days, boyfriends, brief stint in Israel, and awkwardness with parents as she ages into her thirties. (A few of these stories go into th
Sep 02, 2008 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: literary fiction lovers
Recommended to Jen by: Danit!
Shelves: fiction, my-favorites
In Danit Brown's Ask for a Convertible: Stories, running is a motif that, well, runs through many of the stories. Osnat is often running from relationships, to places or people that she hopes might be a home for her, or just from the ennui of modern life. The other people in her life often wonder whether they're making any progress either or if they're just hamsters running on the wheel.
What is it like to be from Israel and to live in Michigan but feel like you belong in neither place? Brown u
Clear, sharp stories, with drunk, insane, and entirely sympathetic characters.
Stephanie Gross
Osnat - pull it together! The self-pity got old.
Torn by wanting this to be a novel, yet finding the loose affiliation of these short stories around a central character to be a refreshing way of illustrating just how much of an outsider the main character feels. This book is mostly about Osnat, Israeli-born American, whom we first meet as a teenager in the 80's in Ann Arbor, MI (my time, my place, and though I am not an Israeli wondering where I belong, I can assure Ms. brown that though her character and narrative may be set apart by her orig ...more
I meant to just read a few of these stories since Danit Brown will be teaching a workshop near me this summer, but I ended up reading the whole thing, which is high praise when you consider how I usually moan and groan over short stories. It helped that the stories were interconnected, concerned with the same characters, and even progressed sequentially through time. They were mostly funny and child of the 80s that I am, I liked the period details of things I had nearly forgotten, like Hands Acr ...more
I have mixed feelings about this. The series of loosely linked short stories are so beautifully evocative of the identity issues of being homesick wherever you live. But I found it hard to get engaged by any of the characters, and I have to agree with the reviewer who commented, "Get it together, Osnat! Enough self pity." These characters lack the ability to be happy, and while that's true of many of us in life, I found it painful to read about. Still, a fascinating and skillfully written book. ...more
Enjoyed the humor.
This is a series of short stories, not really chapters, with characters reappearing in unexpected yet logical places. The main character is the Israeli-born daughter of an American father and Israeli mother who return to the US after her first 13 years in Tel Aviv. Israeli is not Jewish in Ann Arbor, but who is a Jew or why is not as clear as many characters think or hope. I really liked the humor combined with some very serious ideas. It is especially satisfying when you discover the source of ...more
Heather Edwards
This book is a compilation of short stories where the themes and characters interconnect throughout. The main character moves to the US with her parents from Israel when she is thirteen. All the characters are trying to find happiness and themselves. I found I didn't engage with any of them. There was no hook that kept my interest.

I used to enjoy short stories but haven't read any I liked in a long time. I would not have read this book if it wasn't this month's book club selection.
Oct 24, 2009 Clare added it
Awful! All about "identity" and whether our protagonist Osnat (more or less Danit Brown) is more American or Israeli. Eh. Mediocre writing, lots of cliches, I started skimming. But Brown just won some big award, so Identity is still a hip thing.
Ashley Rangel
I really wanted to love this book. After reading the sleeve and a few reviews on I thought I would. But even at halfway through I still couldn't feel a connection to any of the characters..I am giving up on this one.
Linda Robinson
Family like the backyard sanctity of a swimming pool, rather than the treacherous strange waters of a Great Lake. A comfortable read that feels like the Michigan home Brown writes from.
I would recommend this book. it follows several characters as they adjust to living in the US and try to fit in yet maintain their own national identities with varying degrees of success.
It's a very unusual book - not quite a novel, but more than a collection? - and I wished that some threads were pushed more than had been. And sometimes the title character grated.
Collection of short stories around characters in context of Israeli/American identity. Whole different view of a culture not previously explored. Stories well written
Will Meurer
This was a great book of inter-related short stories. It was thoroughly entertaining and I look forward to reading more from this promising young author.
angst that Israeli's in America have
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