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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

No Relief For This Unbearable Urge

No sooner does a Jewish-American write a novel or collection of short stories than he's hailed as the next Roth/Bellow/Malamud. (Or Ozick, if he's a she.)

Such was the case with Nathan Englander, with the 1999 collection of his short stories audaciously titled For The Relief Of Unbearable Urges. Here, however, the acclaim was well-deserved, for the stories of the 29-year-old Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate displayed considerable talent, adroitly merging lightness and gravitas in tales of clashes between orthodoxy and modernity.

One has spent the years since then fruitlessly awaiting the novel Englander was allegedly working on, wondering whether the man was suffering from sophomore blues, or perhaps terminal writer's block.

Now comes the information that the latest issue of The Atlantic Monthly (a fiction special) has a new short story by him, entitled How We Avenged The Blums.

Alas, joy was short-lived. Issues of the said magazine are unavailable in India, and the website is "for Atlantic subscribers only".Which means one got a preview of the first two paragraphs, and no more.

Welcome back, Nathan. Kind of.


  • Lotus is the answer. Get them to reopen soon. Then we can make them get Atlantics for us.

    By Blogger uma, at 9:23 PM  

  • Despite rumours to the contrary, it stubbornly refuses to re-open. Sigh.

    By Blogger PrufrockTwo, at 8:07 AM  

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