The Improbables

The UnAmericans: Stories by Molly Antopol W.W. Norton, 272 pp., $24.95

“Write what you know” is dangerous advice. The writer who takes it risks solipsism, dullness, a lack of perspective, or all three. It is refreshing, then, to see Molly Antopol steer away from the autobiographical shoals in The UnAmericans, a collection of short stories for which she received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 award. This young American author tells the stories of lovers past their prime, Czech dissidents, postwar American Communists, teenage partisans, and Israeli soldiers.

Witty descriptions and engaging characters are among Antopol’s strengths. In “A Difficult Phase,” a young Israeli journalist makes some sullenly funny observations:

This article is locked

Subscribe now for immediate and unlimited access to Web + Print + App + Archive
  • Already a subscriber? Log in to continue reading.
  • Not quite ready to subscribe? Register now for your choice of 3 FREE articles per quarter.
  • Already a registered user? Log in here.

About the Author

Nadia Kalman lives in Brooklyn and is working on her second novel.


No comments yet.

Want to post a comment? Please register or log in.
Copyright © 2018 Jewish Review of Books. All Rights Reserved. | Site by W&B