One of the most stunning literary debuts of our time, these energized, irreverent, and deliciously inventive stories introduced an astonishing talent. In the collection's hilarious title story, a Hasidic man gets a special dispensation from his rabbi to see a prostitute. "The Wig" takes an aging wigmaker and makes her, for a single moment, beautiful. In "The Tumblers", Englander envisions a group of Polish Jews herded toward a train bound for the death camps and, in a deft, imaginative twist, turns them into acrobats tumbling out of harm's way. For the Relief of Unbearable Urges is a work of startling authority and imagination; a collection that is as wondrous and joyful as it is wrenchingly sad. It's the work of a remarkable storyteller.More
"A debut collection of nine stories that explore the condition of being Jewish with an often hallucinatory, epigrammatic eloquence that is, as advertised, reminiscent of the fiction of Isaac Singer, Saul Bellow, and especially Bernard Malamud." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Taut, edgy, sharply observed....A revelation of the human condition." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Remarkable art....The author fills each of these pieces with vivid life, with characters that jump off the page." (Newsday)
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