Elisa Albert s debut story collection marks the arrival of an extraordinary new voice in fiction In How This Night Is Different, Albert boldly illuminates the struggles of young, disaffected Jews to find spiritual fulfillment With wit and wisdom, she confronts themes self deprecation, stressful family relationships, sex, mortality that have been hallmarks of herElisa Albert s debut story collection marks the arrival of an extraordinary new voice in fiction In How This Night Is Different, Albert boldly illuminates the struggles of young, disaffected Jews to find spiritual fulfillment With wit and wisdom, she confronts themes self deprecation, stressful family relationships, sex, mortality that have been hallmarks of her literary predecessors But Albert brings a decidedly fresh, iconoclastic, twenty first century attitude to the table.Holidays, gatherings, and rites of passage provide the backdrop for these ten provocative stories The characters who populate How This Night Is Different are ambivalent, jaded, and in serious want of connection As they go through the motions of familial duty and religious observance, they find themselves continually longing for In prose that is by turns hilarious and harrowing, Albert details the quest for acceptance, a happier view of the past, and above all the possibility of a future.From the hormonally charged concentration camp teen tour in The Living to the sexually frustrated young mother who regresses 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 is sure to titillate, charm, and profoundly resonate with anyone who s ever felt conflicted about his or her faith, culture, or place in the world.
How This Night Is Different Stories Elisa Albert s debut story collection marks the arrival of an extraordinary new voice in fiction In How This Night Is Different Albert boldly illuminates the struggles of young disaffected Jews to f
This collection of short stories may even be better than The Book of Dahlia, which is incredible because I loved The Book of Dahlia. Both emotionally satisfied and filled with envy, I want to write Elisa Albert a creepy love letter -- not unlike the one to Philip Roth that concludes this book.
In the title story of Elisa Albert's comic and irreverent debut collection, "How This Night is Different" (Free Press; 208 pages; $18), a young woman brings her boyfriend home to meet the family during Passover and to introduce him to his first seder. She describes him to her mother as "Kind of like a Jew for Jesus, but minus the Jew part." And to him, she summarizes the meal as "You get constipated, you get sick on bad wine, you talk biblical mythology until everyone nods off in their bone-dry [...]
Elisa Albert's short stories were bitingly sarcastic, funny, and filled to the brim with this postmodern Jewishness of Judaism as experienced by Jews who feel largely out of sync with their heritage and/or life.Most of the stories revolved around sardonic, pill-popping slightly self-absorbed female characters. Sometimes, their behavior leaned a little too much towards sensationalism for the sake of sensationalism, especially in "Everything But," which struck me as patently unrealistic. Other sto [...]
When I read book jacket quotes like the one from Variety on the edition I read, generally I run screaming. "A dark, witty, and incisive take on modern-day disaffected Jewish youth," screams the cover. Yeah? Go incise yourself, pretentious reviewer. This time around, I must eat my words. How This Night Is Different is WONDERFUL. I agree with some of the other reviews here that it suffers a little bit from same-old-narrator--I read through it four stories at a time and then felt the need for a lit [...]
Ugh. I maybe would have liked this, had I read it in middle or high school. I'm pretty sure I WROTE some of these stories in middle or high school. But you know what? I grew up and realized they were stupid. Apparently I'm much more comfortable with my Judaism than Elisa Albert. The only story I sort of liked was "The Living", just for the fact that I relate to how Shayna feels on large group trips. But even that story felt unfinished, missing something.Otherwise? I don't need long descriptions [...]
Wait! This isn't the review it appears to be! How This Night Is Different IS an excellent collection of short stories, but the book I really want to talk about is Elisa's new novel, The Book of Dahlia, due out this spring. She's a friend of mine, so I'm obviously completely biased, but I thought the book -- about an underemployed, sardonic twentysomething dying of cancer -- was great: as funny as it was sad, and vice versa. So I'm building advance buzz, as they say (biased, biased buzz). March 2 [...]
A solid short story collection. Very funny and irreverent at times, and I'm only giving it 3 stars because I read this after After Birth.
Hot tapdancing Jebus, I loved this book. I think I want to marry Elisa Albert. This is one of the few books that really struck my Jewiness, however small that is.
I can't say I got much out of the stories. They never felt finished to me.
very enjoyable, smart and universal writing about the female experience. loved it.
I liked this book, but I think I would have appreciated it more if I had read it before Book of Dahlia. It's hard to choose between giving it 3 or 4 stars. Why isn't there an option for 1/2 stars?
I kind of fell in love with her and her ability to make me laugh. Don't skip the letter at the end to Philip Roth.
Rounding up a little, because a couple of these stories didn't really stand out. But I love this author and will always read anything she writes for the rest of my life.
one of my FAVORITE authors.
I wanted to love this book, but i didnt really. It was just ok.
LOVE LOVE LOVE her. Can tell it's her first book but love her. Jil, you were right, sorry it took me so long to finally read it!
short stories centering on Jewish holidays--very funny and irreverent
Albert knows how to turn a phrase in the precise way that hits my humor buttons.