Dinner at the Center of the Earth (Hardcover)

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In his new novel, Englander gives readers a mesmerizing look at what has become the most insoluble political conflict of our time, that between Israel and the Palestinians. The convoluted nature of the conflict is seen through the eyes of two main characters: one, a young American Jew, Prisoner Z, who has been held at a prison in the Negev desert for 12 years, contemplating the events that have brought him to his incarceration, and the other, the comatose Ariel Sharon, who drifts in a surreal way through his own past experiences. The two men are connected by their relationships with their caretakers: Ruthi, who sits by the General's bed every day, and her son, the guard who is Prisoner Z's only connection to the world. Englander switches brilliantly from thriller action to philosophical contemplation of the human condition in this story of commitment to causes, friendship among enemies, and betrayal. Highly recommended.

— Alice


The best work yet from the Pulitzer finalist and best-selling author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges--a political thriller that unfolds in the highly charged territory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pivots on the complex relationship between a secret prisoner and his guard.

A prisoner in a secret cell. The guard who has watched over him a dozen years. An American waitress in Paris. A young Palestinian man in Berlin who strikes up an odd friendship with a wealthy Canadian businessman. And The General, Israel's most controversial leader, who lies dying in a hospital, the only man who knows of the prisoner's existence.
From these vastly different lives Nathan Englander has woven a powerful, intensely suspenseful portrait of a nation riven by insoluble conflict, even as the lives of its citizens become fatefully and inextricably entwined--a political thriller of the highest order that interrogates the anguished, violent division between Israelis and Palestinians, and dramatizes the immense moral ambiguities haunting both sides. Who is right, who is wrong--who is the guard, who is truly the prisoner?
A tour de force from one of America's most acclaimed voices in contemporary fiction.

About the Author

NATHAN ENGLANDER is the author of the novel The Ministry of Special Cases, and the story collections For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His short fiction has been widely anthologized, most recently in 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories. Englander's play The Twenty-Seventh Man premiered at The Public Theater in 2012. He also translated the New American Haggadah and co-translated Etgar Keret's Suddenly a Knock on the Door. He is Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at New York University, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781524732738
ISBN-10: 1524732737
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Pages: 272
Language: English