High Shtick

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
Nathan Englander
Knopf, $24.95, 207 pp.

The title of Nathan Englander’s powerful new collection of stories, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, comes from a Raymond Carver story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” but Englander’s change in the noun at the end of the title changes the tenor of the whole phrase. Everyone talks about love, but who talks about Anne Frank?

Well, Englander, for one. And Philip Roth, for another.

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About the Author

Gabriel Brownstein, associate professor of English at St. John’s University, is the author of two works of fiction. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W (W. W. Norton & Co.) won the PEN/Hemingway Award in 2002. His novel The Man from Beyond (W. W. Norton & Co.) was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and one of Booklist’s Top 10 Historical Novels in 2005.