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
Albert is the real thing-funny, perceptive,
quirky and possessed of a unique voice."
Erica Jong, author of Fear of Flying
wonder-inducing blend of sharp humor, religious
ambivalence, and caustic wisdom."
Time Out NY
dark, witty and incisive take
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"
"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.
is as unorthodox as it is satisfying."
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
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
spirited collection heralds the arrival of an
audacious new voice on the Jewish literary scene."
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
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
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."
ten stories by debut writer Albert explore traditional
Jewish rituals with youthful, irreverent exuberance...hilariously
vulgar." Publishers Weekly
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
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
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
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
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