My favorite contemporary short story is "The Tumblers" from Nathan Englander's amazing collection FOR THE RELIEF OF UNBEARABLE URGES. To avoid ending up at the death camps, a group of Orthodox Jews sneaks on a train, pretending to be circus acrobats. During the train ride, these men and women, young and old, healthy and unhealthy, practice tumbling. They also sew together crazy costumes from whatever fabric can be found on the train. When they arrive at the final location and have to perform, they do so in such a funny way that the audience believes they are actually comediennes. Englander does an amazing job of taking a dire situation, during an upsetting time in history, and weaving humor seamlessly into the story. Funny and sad--what the best stories are made of.
Causes Maureen Sherbondy Supports
North Carolina Writers' Network, Temple Beth Or, North Carolina Poetry Society