How This Night Is Different: Stories (Paperback)

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In her critically acclaimed debut story collection, Elisa Albert boldly illuminates an original cross section of disaffected young Jews. With wit, compassion, and a decidedly iconoclastic twenty-first-century attitude, in prose that is by turns hilarious and harrowing, Albert has created characters searching for acceptance, a happier view of the past, and above all the possibility of a future.

Holidays, family gatherings, and rites of passage provide the backdrop for these ten provocative stories. From the death of a friendship in So Long to a sexually frustrated young mother's regression to bat mitzvah -- aged antics in Everything But, and culminating with the powerful and uproariously apropos finale of Etta or Bessie or Dora or Rose, How This Night Is Different will excite, charm, and profoundly resonate with anyone who's ever felt ambivalent about his or her faith, culture, or place in the world.

Praise For…

"Elisa Albert is the real thing -- funny, perceptive, quirky, and possessed of a unique voice. May she continue to write and thrive."

-- Erica Jong

"With acid wit and bitter truth Elisa Albert rocks the High Holy house! How This Night Is Different is a postmodern mitzvah."

-- Holiday Reinhorn, author of Big Cats

"Only a writer as daring as Elisa Albert would end a sharp-witted, funny, and profoundly sad debut collection with a story that yanks off the writerly mask and slashes the safety net. My jaw dropped -- and not just because I was laughing."

-- David Gates, author of Jernigan and The Wonders of the Invisible World

"How is this book different? It manages to be sharp, unflinching, tender, funny, smart, and vastly entertaining all at once."

-- Tova Mirvis, author of The Outside World and The Ladies Auxiliary

"Elisa Albert is the wild, late-coming progeny of Philip Roth and Grace Paley, and we are lucky to have her. Her stories take contemporary Jewish life by the scruff of its neck and give it the shaking that it deserves. There is no piety here, only what you want most from a story: hot prose and the human comedy."

-- Jonathan Wilson, author of A Palestine Affair

"Explores traditional Jewish rituals with youthful, irreverent exuberance...hilariously vulgar."

-- Publishers Weekly

"Elisa Albert provides ample evidence of just how this smart, funny, outrageous young Jewish writer is different -- she's wildly entertaining, incisive as an ice pick, deeply engaged, and curiously, memorably moving. Philip Roth will surely be amused and deliciously appalled, as will you, Gentle Reader, at her inheritance and renewal of the culture and the dream."

-- Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Machine Dreams and Motherkind

"Elisa Albert is a funny and gutsy writer with a knack for locating the absurd poignancy in familiar situations. This is an accomplished, moving and often risky debut."

-- Sam Lipsyte, author of Home Land and Venus Drive

"Elisa Albert spins dark comedy into gold. Smart, sexy, and funny as all get-out, her stories are also profound and poignant. This is a story collection to cherish."

-- Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of Hester Among the Ruins and An Almost Perfect Moment

Product Details
ISBN: 9780743291286
ISBN-10: 074329128X
Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: February 1st, 2008
Pages: 196
Language: English