Nathan Englander

In 'Dinner at the Center of the Earth,' Nathan Englander deepens and expands what he does so well

In 'Dinner at the Center of the Earth,' Nathan Englander deepens and expands what he does so well

Nathan Englander is a fabulist: That’s the first thing to keep in mind. Even when he’s trafficking in the naturalistic — in his story “The Wig” from “For the Relief of Unbearable Urges” or in the magnificent collection “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” — he aspires to the lesson of the parable.

“Wouldn’t I hide you?” he writes in the latter, channeling Raymond Carver and the Holocaust. “Even if it was life and death — if it would spare you, and they’d kill me alone for doing it? Wouldn’t I?” That such questions are being asked in the pantry of a suburban house in Florida is the point entirely; we never know where our fables will come from or what form the allegory...

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