The Atlantic's March short story

March 3, 1999

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Nathan Englander

Nathan Englander's first collection of stories, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges,will be published next month by Alfred A. Knopf, in what Publisher's Weekly has called "one of the most bruited debuts of the year" -- a reference to the rumors of the very large advance paid to Englander. But, PW continued, "such brouhaha shouldn't cloud the achievement of these unpretentious and powerful stories." The characterization is apt, as Englander's story in the March Atlantic ("The Gilgul of Park Avenue") reveals. "Gilgul" is a representative example of Englander's talent for storytelling, his lively sense of humor, and his profound connection to his Jewish heritage.

Englander, twenty-nine, has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa, and has recently moved from the United States to Jerusalem, where, thanks to his book advance, he has installed himself in a bright, tidy apartment perched on a hill overlooking the Israel Supreme Court and the Knesset. He recently spoke to The Atlantic's Lucie Prinz, who was the first reader at the magazine to come across his work.