Nathan Englander at Harvard Book Store
This event includes a book signing
Harvard Book Store and the Jewish Arts Collaborative welcome acclaimed novelist and short story writer NATHAN ENGLANDER—author of Dinner at the Center of the Earth—for a discussion of his latest novel, kaddish.com.
Larry is an atheist in a family of orthodox Memphis Jews. When his father dies, it is his responsibility as the surviving son to recite the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, every day for eleven months. To the horror and dismay of his mother and sisters, Larry refuses—thus imperiling the fate of his father's soul. To appease them, and in penance for failing to mourn his father correctly, he hatches an ingenious if the cynical plan, hiring a stranger through a website called kaddish.com to recite the daily prayer and shepherd his father's soul safely to rest.
This is Nathan Englander's freshest and funniest work to date—a satire that touches, lightly and with unforgettable humor, on the conflict between religious and secular worlds, and the hypocrisies that run through both. A novel about atonement; about spiritual redemption; and about the soul-sickening temptations of the internet, which, like God, is everywhere.
"Englander is mischievously hilarious, nightmarish, suspenseful, inquisitive, and deliriously tender in this concentrated tale of tradition and improvisation, faith and love." —Booklist
"[An] excellent comic dissection of Jewish-American life . . . This novel reads like Chaim Potok filtered through the sensibility of Mel Brooks. Englander writes cogently about Jewish-American assimilation, and, in his practiced hands, he makes Shuli’s journey, both outer and inner, a simultaneously humorous and deeply moving one." —Publishers Weekly