Nathan Englander at a literary conference in Jerusalem in 2008.
Nathan Englander at a literary conference in Jerusalem in 2008. Photo by Emil Salman
Text size

American-Jewish author Nathan Englander has been awarded the 2012 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award for his short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank.

Englander beat out authors Etgar Keret, Sarah Hall and Kevin Barry for the 25,000-euro award, one of the biggest prizes for short stories.

Past winners include Edna O'Brien and Haruki Murakami.

In their decision, the judges called Englander's story "powerful," adding that they were impressed by his maturity and calling his stories "multilayered in meaning." The title of the story that lends its title to the book is a reference to Raymond Carver's 1981 short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

Nathan Englander was born in 1970 and grew up in New York in an Orthodox Jewish community. He studied at the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa and lived in Jerusalem for several years in the nineties until moving back to New York in 2001.  

In 1999, he published a story collection called The Gilgul of Park Avenue (published in Israel in Hebrew in 2003), which became an international bestseller and won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In 2007, The Ministry of Special Cases was published (published in Hebrew in 2009), which takes place in Argentina in 1976 during the reign of the military junta.

This year, Englander and Jonathan Safran Foer, another American-Jewish author released the New American Haggadah, an updated version of the Passover Haggada, which was also recently released in a Hebrew translation.

Read this article in Hebrew