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September 2018 Fiction: Literary

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Dinner at the Center of the Earth
By (author): Nathan Englander
9780525434047 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Literary Sep 04, 2018
$22.95 CAD
Active 5.2 x 8 x 0.8 in 272 pages Vintage
The much-anticipated new novel from the Pulitzer-nominated, bestselling author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges—a political thriller set against the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Weaving together vastly different lives—a prisoner in a secret cell. The guard who has watched over him for a dozen years. An American waitress in Paris. A young Palestinian man in Berlin. And the General, Israel’s most controversial leader. Nathan Englander has crafted a powerful, intensely suspenseful portrait of a nation riven by insoluble conflict, even as the lives of its citizens become fatefully and inextricably entwined. A political thriller of the highest order that interrogates the anguished, violent division between Israelis and Palestinians and dramatizes the immense moral ambiguities haunting both sides, Dinner at the Center of the Earth is a tour de force novel from one of the most acclaimed voices in contemporary American fiction.

Publication History: Knopf HC, September 2017

AUTHOR: Englander is the recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. His last book, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has also published a translation of New American Haggadah, edited by Jonathan Safran Foer.

PRAISE: As is always the case with Englander’s books, the novel has received great reviews. The New York Times Book Review calls Dinner at the Center of the Earth a “bold, compassionate, genre-hopping novel,” NPR raves that it’s a “beautiful masterpiece,” and the Los Angeles Times has named it a best book of the year.

VINTAGE BACKLIST: His complete backlist—the short story collections For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, and the novel The Ministry of Special Cases—are available in paperback and eBook from Vintage. Across all formats, Englander’s books have sold over 350k copies.

FIRST NOVEL IN A DECADE: Dinner at the Center of the Earth is Englander’s eagerly anticipated first novel since 2007’s San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, The Ministry of Special Cases.

BOOK CLUBS: Englander’s books have all made for good picks, and this new novel is no different. A provocative and highly relevant look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is sure to generate discussion. The author is a member of the PRH Speakers Bureau.

NATHAN ENGLANDER is the author of the novel The Ministry of Special Cases, and the story collections For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His short fiction has been widely anthologized, most recently in 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories. Englander’s play The Twenty-Seventh Man premiered at The Public Theater in 2012. He also translated the New American Haggadah and co-translated Etgar Keret’s Suddenly a Knock on the Door. He is distinguished writer-in-residence at New York University, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter.

Author Residence: Brooklyn, NY

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Author Social Media:;; Instagram: @nenglander

“As usual, superb: a work of psychological precision and moral force, with an immediacy that captures both timeless human truth as well as the perplexities of the present day.”—Colson Whitehead

“Englander’s many-splendored new novel, Dinner at the Center of the Earth, is a guilty pleasure—guilty because you wonder throughout if a book highlighting the endless cycles of trespass and vengeance that define the modern state of Israel should be quite so much fun.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Moving…. What stands out is Mr. Englander’s insistence on finding romance amid the violence and deception…. The ageless struggle between Jews and Arabs comes to resemble a desperate lover’s embrace.”—The Wall Street Journal

“[A] brutal, beautiful masterpiece…. Englander’s brilliance is in showing that sides, like the two states, are constantly shifting.”—NPR

“Englander is as wise and funny and original and moving as ever.”—Financial Times

“Exhilarating…. A kaleidoscopic fairy tale of Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.”—Los Angeles Times

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