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Download What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories Audiobook, by Nathan Englander Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,417 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nathan Englander Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9780307989307
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These eight new stories from the celebrated novelist and short-story writer Nathan Englander display a gifted young author grappling with the great questions of modern life, with a command of language and the imagination that place Englander at the very forefront of contemporary American fiction.
 
The title story, inspired by Raymond Carver’s masterpiece, is a provocative portrait of two marriages in which the Holocaust is played out as a devastating parlor game. In the outlandishly dark “Camp Sundown” vigilante justice is undertaken by a group of geriatric campers in a bucolic summer enclave. “Free Fruit for Young Widows” is a small, sharp study in evil, lovingly told by a father to a son. “Sister Hills” chronicles the history of Israel’s settlements from the eve of the Yom Kippur War through the present, a political fable constructed around the tale of two mothers who strike a terrible bargain to save a child. Marking a return to two of Englander’s classic themes, “Peep Show” and “How We Avenged the Blums” wrestle with sexual longing and ingenuity in the face of adversity and peril. And “Everything I Know About My Family on My Mother’s Side” is suffused with an intimacy and tenderness that break new ground for a writer who seems constantly to be expanding the parameters of what he can achieve in the short form.
 
Beautiful and courageous, funny and achingly sad, Englander’s work is a revelation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Englander’s latest short story collection marks him out as one of the finest American writers of his generation.”

    Financial Times

  • “Virtuosic…Each of these meticulously chiseled stories contains a hidden stinger that throws the reader for a wicked loop…These are stories that give you goose bumps.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “What Englander is saying is that we know ourselves, or don’t, on different levels, that we exist individually and as part of a heritage…Who will hide us? Who are we, really? How do ritual and culture intersect? Such questions exist at the heart of this accomplished collection, in which stories are what make us who we are.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Profound and magical…These eight masterful stories also continue the work of Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, and Bernard Malamud—authors who mined the Jewish-American experience with tremendous humor, humanity, and healthy amounts of guilt.”

    USA Today

  • “Nathan Englander is a master at putting remarks into the mouths of ordinary people that distill entire streams of politics and religion…They ring true and are a funny, chilling, joy to read.”

    Plain Dealer

  • “Englander is at his best…He never writes less than gorgeously, but when, from narrow confines, he puts his finger on the universal, he’s Shakespeare.”

    Bloomberg News

  • “Humane, philosophically provocative…Each story in the book is essentially a parable, and Englander’s special talent is to burnish his parables with a patina of persuasive realism…Characters tell (and retell) stories within stories, and seek to understand themselves by means of narrative, in a way that seems quintessentially, satisfyingly Jewish.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Imaginatively powerful…What makes the stories resonate long after their final paragraphs is Englander’s odd coupling of the morally serious and the deliciously comic…His second collection of short stories more than fulfills the large promises of his first. What do we do when we talk about Englander? We talk about how he has become a master storyteller.”

    Miami Herald

  • “I’m in love. For evidence that collections can be just as satisfying, read as deep, if not deeper, and beat with as much life and insight as a hulking novel, look no further.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Audacious and idiosyncratic, darkly clever, and brightly faceted.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Terrific…When is a short story mightier than a novel? When its elisions speak as loudly as its lines. Englander knows where to hold back, a particular gift when writing about and around the martyr of his title, the locked up and locked in. A kind of hard-won wisdom spills out on every page.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Selected for the February 2012 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • One of the 2012 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books
  • A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • A 2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara Herrera | 2/5/2014

    " I agree with my awesome friend Amy on this one -- these stories I could not put down. I read one right after the other trying to find a common thread (besides the obvious one from the title). One theme that grabbed me was the many definitions of "courage" throughout these stories. I also admired that the author has a very spare way with words but can tell so much. I look forward to reading more! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marcie | 2/3/2014

    " Philosophical and unpredictable. A great voice. Some of it is very funny, but I'm mainly left with a feeling of disquiet which is, I suppose, culturally appropriate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Liu | 1/26/2014

    " Great first two stories in this collection; the rest fall into the category of male Jewish angst about sex life, a la Philip Roth and Woody Allen. Been there, done that. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christian | 1/20/2014

    " Would give zero stars if possible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon Pelletier | 1/12/2014

    " A great collection that I think will get better with every reading - one to dip in and out of, forever. Especially loved "The Reader." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara Grant | 1/9/2014

    " To be read in one sitting on a Sunday with a cup of coffee. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 12/30/2013

    " I liked so much about this book. A very quick read. Each chapter was its own story. Nothing to follow. I just wish I enjoyed all the stories as much as I liked the first. That is the way it always seems with books like this. I hit one really great story, weather it's the first or the last and I just think the rest are going to be like that and am disappointed when they aren't. Oh well! All the stories had a Jewish theme to them and they were all over the place on levels of Jewishness, which I liked a lot. I just really like the first one. The others, I was meh on. Oh well! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adele Goetz | 12/28/2013

    " The title story is amazing, the rest are up and down, but still worth a read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruthie | 12/28/2013

    " Quick read, brilliant stories, the first story, for me was the best, but they are all chilling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Ahlberg | 12/24/2013

    " The critics swoon, I thought it was OK. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dalia Azim | 12/23/2013

    " The title story is incredible. I keep re-reading it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 11/26/2013

    " Haunting, sometimes chilling stories concerning the Jewish experience. Pick it up to read the title story alone. I may not have liked all the stories in themselves, but I certainly appreciate his fine writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamah | 11/25/2013

    " Interesting thought provoking short stories. I will read them again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Spike Anderson | 10/31/2013

    " like the effort - seems to mimic the Yiddish authors of yesteryear, but with updated themes like Elder tribunals and pot... but I did not really like the stories as stories, and they did not inspire me, and they did not make me ponder deeper themes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth R | 9/14/2013

    " GREAT short stories all dealing with a Jewish theme. The first story, "What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank" is pretty funny. Nice to have some short stories that are great to read, not as good as Interpreter of Maladies or the Namesake, but still very well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eowyn | 6/23/2013

    " Beautifully written, moving and painful, at times quite funny, i really enjoyed these short stories. loved the first and, particularly, the last story, the middle ones are good but not as wonderful, and i found one almost too disturbing (hence the 4 stars). i'll seek out more of his work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michaela | 6/18/2013

    " Wow. Brilliantly written, beautifully imagined. And most enjoyable if you are well versed in the intricacies of Jewish religious life -- though totally worth reading if, like me, you are not. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melyssa Fratkin | 6/7/2013

    " Some of the stories were interesting, or made me think... some of them I skimmed through quickly because ...meh. I think "Camp Sundown" and "Sister Hills" were my favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luise | 5/27/2013

    " Gifted writer: short stories convey complexity of emotions involved in what it means to be Jewish for the post-Holocaust generation - better than any news documentary could. even manages to include humour. some stories make you uncomfortable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zach | 2/4/2013

    " Best almost-only-writing-short-stories writer working right now? Maybe. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marla | 12/31/2012

    " First story will win all of the prizes. The rest ... not so much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 12/9/2012

    " Very interested collection of short stories, I have read a job of jewish stories, but nothing quite like this. It is the most poetic, I sometimes think my reading was too surface before, this one is worth the fine words said about it, it is beautiful and very special "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leah Jones | 9/22/2012

    " Very funny, but thought provoking and a little scary in places. Great book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terri Jacobson | 7/27/2012

    " A very well-written book of 8 short stories, all of which have some connection to Judaism. The author is quite skilled, and the stories are emotionally and psychologically challenging and satisfying. Englander is a master of the short story genre. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Russell | 4/20/2012

    " I felt that the first two stories and the last story were brilliant. All the other stories were very good. This was an amazing collection, and well worthy of its nomination for the Pulitzer. "

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About the Author
Author Nathan Englander

Nathan Englander’s short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic, and numerous anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He is the author of the novel The Ministry of Special Cases and the story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, which earned him a PEN/Malamud Award and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.