Vivian Valvano's Reviews > What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander
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Mar 09, 12

Read in March, 2012

A brilliant collection from a brilliant talent. Englander is fearless in his utilization of Israel and Jewishness as subject matter. His giftedness with language, his flair with characterization, and his uncanny ability to wrest some biting (and bitter) humor from intensely serious (sometimes tragic) situations are remarkable. And he doesn't fall into the trap of repeating himself in style or narration. The title story will be talked about for years, I've no doubt. Again, good literature so often comes out of good literature, and Englander has done Raymond Carver proud here. "Sister Hills" tells a tale while displaying, with subtlety rather than bragging, Englander's knowledge of the history of Israel, particularly since the Yom Kippur War and particularly focused on the Israeli settlements. Much more than a history lesson, though, the story's narrative of two women on different hills is breathtakingly shattering. "Camp Sundown," in the good old USA, is equally shattering. Not one story fails for me. I've just mentioned here some stellar standouts.
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