"What begins as a darkly funny novel develops quickly into a genuine tragedy, though it's unlike any you've read before." Ten Best Novels of 2008, Entertainment Weekly

"Albert writes with the black humor of Lorrie Moore and a pathos that is uniquely her own, all the more blistering for being slyly invoked." The New Yorker

"[I]t's Dahlia's vulnerability, captured in conversational prose, that makes her struggle poignant... a resonant tune that shifts from being fierce and funny to lovely and moving as it ultimately turns into a lament."
Time Out New York

"Albert creates an antihero whose spunky candor reminds us that attitude-even a bad one-is everything." Marie Claire

"While Elisa Albert's darkly brilliant first novel, "The Book of Dahlia," may well keep you up at night, it's hardly a thriller. Instead, Albert has written something far rarer - a book so original in its voice and vision that it's truly thrilling... Readers looking for a depiction of illness as a crucible for the triumph of the human spirit will be disappointed. But this book keeps its steadfast focus on a more complicated truth, and that is its triumph." San Francisco Chronicle

"Is Dahlia's wasted life a waste of life? Maybe. But the time we spend with her isn't." Los Angeles Times

"Albert has given readers a no-holds-barred portrait of terminal illness. This is not a gentle book, but it is an authentic and important one." Library Journal, starred review

“Dahlia’s high-stakes story is always compelling.” Booklist

"Irreverent and witty, The Book of Dahlia is perfectly executed." Bookpage

"Surprisingly, shockingly moving." Boston Globe

"This unusual novel is a major achievement." The Jerusalem Post

"Albert creates a heroine who is as hilarious as she is honest, and she does it without a shred of sentimentality." People Magazine

"Dahlia has appeal and wit [and a] distinctive voice." The Washington Post

"As Dahlia's physical condition deteriorates, we are very much there, and it's a remarkably affecting read. That appears to be Albert's particular genius: She cultivates an emotional bond even with her heroine, not despite Dahlia's human defects but because of them." The Forward

"Sweeping and poignant...a snapshot of our time. A book about dying, to be sure; but even more, a book about living." Ha'aretz

"Dahlia...turns the classic protagonist-faces-an-unforeseen-illness narrative into a work that is both marvelously witty and emotionally devastating." Richmond Times

"Death, as Albert reminds us, doesn't offer finality; we're lucky to be left with the lingering traces of unfinished movement." JBooks

"Hilarious and heartbreaking...Albert's superb first novel...delivers Dahlia's laissez-faire attitude toward other people and lack of ambition with such exactness as to strip them of cliché and make them grimly vivid. Her brilliant style makes the novel's central question-should we mourn a wasted life?-shockingly poignant." Publishers Weekly, Starred review

"The author succeeds so well in making Dahlia seem like a real person that it's hard to feel ho-hum about her truncated life. Dahlia readily detects and rejects pity, so that's not an option here. How, then, are we readers to feel about a life ending too soon? Ms. Albert...faces the issue boldly in this novel." Dallas Morning News

"Give a brain tumor to a witty, sarcastic young Jewish woman who lives in a house her daddy bought for her in Venice, Calif., and spends her days watching TV, smoking pot and thinking about what her future might bring, and what do you get? The irreverent debut novel of Elisa Albert." The New York Post

"A powerful meditation on mortality, Albert's richly expressive novel possesses that rare quality of making life feel wholly real." Jewish Book World

"Elisa Albert has the unique gift of making bedmates out of humor and heartbreak. The Book of Dahlia is wonderful." — Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan

"The Book of Dahlia does not go gently into that good night -- each line howls with pain and rage and laughter. It takes an unflinching look at terminal illness in our culture of sunny denial and doesn't let readers off the hook, either -- this book will bring you to your knees." Karen Russell, author of St. Lucy's Home For Girls Raised By Wolves

"Never maudlin, occasionally harrowing, and often hilarious, The Book of Dahlia is a dark, surprising wonder. Faced with her own imminent and unavoidable demise, Dahlia doesn't flinch -- but you will."
Kelly Braffet, author of Last Seen Leaving



Now in paperback

"Albert's protagonists are young Americans each imbued with an uncannily sharp voice, each boldly confronting their intricately conflicted lives, each looking on the world with convincing lucidity and reacting with moving joie de vivre." — The San Francisco Chronicle

"Elisa Albert is the real thing-funny, perceptive, quirky and possessed of a unique voice." — Erica Jong, author of Fear of Flying

"…[A] wonder-inducing blend of sharp humor, religious ambivalence, and caustic wisdom." — Time Out NY

"…[A] dark, witty and incisive take…" — Variety

"Albert is a spectacularly efficient writer, able to reveal more about her characters in a few well-chosen, beautifully phrased sentences than some authors can manage in an entire novel. The author's command of her craft should impress anyone who appreciates short fiction, and her characters are so singularly human that their power to charm and engage transcends religious affiliation. An exciting debut; sincerely touching, mordantly funny and superbly assured." — Kirkus, Starred Review, a "Hot Debut" of 2006

"Elisa Albert's debut story collection is truly worthy of the overused phrase 'razor sharp'. These 10 tales deal with Jewish themes, but don't go in expecting Manischewitz-sweet allegories of happy Hanukkahs. These are not your bubbe's bedtime stories. …THIS NIGHT is as unorthodox as it is satisfying."
— BUST Magazine

"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

"Elisa Albert spins dark comedy into gold. Smart, sexy, funny as all get-out, her stories are also profound and poignant. How This Night is Different is a story collection to cherish." — Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of An Almost Perfect Moment and Hester Among The Ruins

"This spirited collection heralds the arrival of an audacious new voice on the Jewish literary scene." — The Forward

"[Albert] employs razor-sharp irony to deftly dissect how contemporary life gets tangled with ancient traditions, with results as sweet and sour -- and delicious -- as pickled herring in cream sauce." — The Hartford Courant

"Overall, this funny, provocative work richly expresses the questions that linger after a bad Hebrew school and good university education. Introspective and irreverent, Albert's heroines approach Passover seders [sic], wedding preparations, shiva visits, and circumcisions, with skepticism and a beguiling seriousness. Even if Elisa Albert had not chosen to end her collection with a love letter to Philip Roth, one could read her audacious debut as just that." — Lilith Magazine

"Albert shows a biting knowingness about contemporary Jewish life that reflects the very real American unease with an ongoing cultural conflict between assimilation and tradition. Albert's point isn't to offer solutions, but to open up readers' eyes to the peculiarities and absurdities of contemporary Judaism through lively characters and generous descriptions." — Albany Times-Union

"These ten stories by debut writer Albert explore traditional Jewish rituals with youthful, irreverent exuberance...hilariously vulgar." — Publishers Weekly

"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 human comedy." — Jonathan Wilson, author of A Palestine Affair and An Ambulance is on The Way

"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' Auxillary

"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 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

"With acid wit and bitter truth, Elisa Albert rocks the High Holy House! How This Night is Different is a post-modern mitzvah." — Holiday Reinhorn, author of Big Cats