Response – What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

Reading: “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” by Nathan Englander

Impressions: I have to admit that this was a very entertaining piece for me! It hit on some somber notes, had its fair share of irony, and had it’s humorous moments, too.

From the moment I read the following, I knew that I would going to like the character who narrates the story, : “Debbie, my wife, puts a hand on my arm—her signal that I’m either taking a tone, interrupting someone’s story, sharing something private, or making an inappropriate joke. That’s my cue, and I’m surprised, considering how often I get it, that she ever lets go of my arm.”

We never learn the narrator’s name. I can only refer to him as Deb’s husband. We see the other characters through his filter. I found it interesting how he would sometimes refer to Shoshana and Yerucham as Mark and Lauren as if to poke fun at his wife’s friends.

Though it was a short story, I felt like I got a good picture of each character, an understanding of who each of them is. The dialogue was as revealing as the character descriptions.

Comedic and deeply sad at the same time.


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