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Now all but well established on the New York literary scene, it was nevertheless great to follow up Nathan Englanders stunning short Free Fruit for Young Widows which featured in The New Yorker magazine with a really enjoyable collection of short stories.
All range widely in topic, visiting and re-visiting a couple of central themes around a strong sense of place, belonging, tribe and sharing, displacement and threat that represent the various refractions of Jewish sensibility both at home (America) and abroad (Israel).
That a Dutch schoolgirl looms so large the in infinitely detailed, diverse and dense make-up of a people, and that a people will see themselves as a people despite the miles and the money is due largely to the legacy and continuing work of dedicated writers in this cultural tradition.
The very best of this collection is Free Fruit for Young Widows although there is interest and quality throughout - a great read.
At a time when there is much talk of inspiring the next generation, Nathan Englander’s inspired and inspiring work is proof that the flame continues to pass and burns as brightly as ever.
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