How This Night Is Different: Stories

How This Night Is Different: Stories

by Elisa Albert


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, May 20


In her critically acclaimed debut story collection, Elisa Albert boldly illuminates an original cross section of disaffected young Jews. With wit, compassion, and a decidedly iconoclastic twenty-first-century attitude, in prose that is by turns hilarious and harrowing, Albert has created characters searching for acceptance, a happier view of the past, and above all the possibility of a future.

Holidays, family gatherings, and rites of passage provide the backdrop for these ten provocative stories. From the death of a friendship in "So Long" to a sexually frustrated young mother's regression 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 will excite, charm, and profoundly resonate with anyone who's ever felt ambivalent about his or her faith, culture, or place in the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743291286
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 02/12/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Elisa Albert is the author of the short story collection How This Night is Different and the novel The Book of Dahlia. She has taught creative writing at Columbia University and is currently Writer-in-Residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Holland.

Table of Contents


The Mother Is Always Upset

When You Say You're a Jew

So Long

Everything But


How This Night Is Different

The Living


We Have Trespassed

Etta or Bessie or Dora or Rose

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Elisa Albert is the real thing — funny, perceptive, quirky, and possessed of a unique voice. May she continue to write and thrive."

— Erica Jong

"With acid wit and bitter truth Elisa Albert rocks the High Holy house! How This Night Is Different is a postmodern mitzvah."

— Holiday Reinhorn, author of Big Cats

"Only a writer as daring as Elisa Albert would end a sharp-witted, funny, and profoundly sad debut collection with a story that yanks off the writerly mask and slashes the safety net. My jaw dropped — and not just because I was laughing."

— David Gates, author of Jernigan and The Wonders of the Invisible World

"How is this book different? It manages to be sharp, unflinching, tender, funny, smart, and vastly entertaining all at once."

— Tova Mirvis, author of The Outside World and The Ladies Auxiliary

"Elisa Albert is the wild, late-coming progeny of Philip Roth and Grace Paley, and we are lucky to have her. Her stories take contemporary Jewish life by the scruff of its neck and give it the shaking that it deserves. There is no piety here, only what you want most from a story: hot prose and the human comedy."

— Jonathan Wilson, author of A Palestine Affair

"Explores traditional Jewish rituals with youthful, irreverent exuberance...hilariously vulgar."

Publishers Weekly

"Elisa Albert provides ample evidence of just how this smart, funny, outrageous young Jewish writer is different — she's wildly entertaining, incisive as an ice pick, deeply engaged, and curiously, memorably moving. Philip Roth will surely be amused and deliciously appalled, as will you, Gentle Reader, at her inheritance and renewal of the culture and the dream."

— Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Machine Dreams and Motherkind

"Elisa Albert is a funny and gutsy writer with a knack for locating the absurd poignancy in familiar situations. This is an accomplished, moving and often risky debut."

— Sam Lipsyte, author of Home Land and Venus Drive

"Elisa Albert spins dark comedy into gold. Smart, sexy, and funny as all get-out, her stories are also profound and poignant. This is a story collection to cherish."

— Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of Hester Among the Ruins and An Almost Perfect Moment

Customer Reviews