Nathan Englander, 2007

Nathan Englander (born 1970) is an American short story writer and novelist. His debut short story collection, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, was published by Alfred A. Knopf, in 1999. His second collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank won the 2012 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.


Nathan Englander was born in West Hempstead on Long Island, and grew up as part of the Orthodox Jewish community in West Hempstead, New York.[1] He attended the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County for high school and graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton and the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. In mid-1990s, he moved to Israel, where he lived for five years.[2][3]

Englander lives in Brooklyn, New York and Madison, Wisconsin. He taught fiction as a part of CUNY Hunter College's Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing and currently teaches fiction in the MFA program at New York University.

Literary career

Since the publication of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, Englander has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bard Fiction Prize, and a fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.[4] Four of his short stories have appeared in editions of The Best American Short Stories: "The Gilgul of Park Avenue" appeared in the 2000 edition, with guest editor E.L. Doctorow, "How We Avenged the Blums" appeared in the 2006 edition, guest edited by Ann Patchett, "Fresh Fruit for Young Widows" appeared in the 2011 edition, guest edited by Geraldine Brooks, and "What We Do When We Talk About Anne Frank" appeared in the 2012 edition, guest edited by Tom Perrotta. Another story in the collection, "The Twenty-Seventh Man," debuted as a play in November, 2012,[5] the subject of a radio program featuring audio of a reading by actor Michael Stuhlbarg.[6]

The Ministry of Special Cases, Englander's follow-up to his debut collection, was released on April 24, 2007. The novel is set in 1976 in Buenos Aires during Argentina's "Dirty War" and has been described as "an impeccably paced, historically accurate novel which is alternatively side-splitting and frighteningly macabre."[7] Englander has said of his novel that "...I resisted calling it a political book, in that it wasn’t my intent—that is, I had no corrupting (as I’d see it) preconceived position that I was pushing. There’s a lot of politics in my novel, because it’s central to the world of that novel."[8]

Englander's third book, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, a short story collection, was released on February 7, 2012.[9] The title story was featured in the December 12, 2011 issue of The New Yorker,[10] and the book won the 2012 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Awards and critical acclaim

Published works


  1. ^ Gussow, Mel. "Captured in Stories, The World He Left; For Author's Debut, Tales of Orthodox Jews", The New York Times, July 5, 1999. "Mr. Englander, who grew up in West Hempstead on Long Island, now lives in Jerusalem, and in that is one of the many paradoxes of his life."
  2. ^ Pipe Dream
  3. ^ “Kisufim” – The International Festival of Jewish Writers and Poets
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Public Theater 2011-12 Season
  6. ^ "'The 27th Man'". Selected Shorts. Public Radio International. 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  7. ^ Nolan, Val. "Darkly comic tale of family in Argentina", The Sunday Business Post, August 26, 2007. Accessed August 16, 2008.
  8. ^ Galchen, Rivka. "Nathan Englander", BOMB Magazine, September, 2007. Retrieved July 29, 11.
  9. ^ Random House
  10. ^ The New Yorker Website