The Book of Life by Stuart Nadler

Forced together on a trip from Manhattan to Rhode Island, a father and son attempt to renew their bond over lobster, cigarettes, and a buried secret. A pure-hearted artist finds his devotion cruelly tested, while his true love tries to repent for the biggest mistake of her life. Unwittingly thrust into an open marriage, a man struggles to reconnect with his newly devout son. And in the book's daring first story, an arrogant businessman begins a forbidden affair during the High Holidays.

Written in clear, crystalline prose, The Book of Life comprises seven stunning tales about faith, family, grief, love, temptation, and redemption that signal the arrival of a bold and exciting new writer.


Visit Stuart Nadler's official website, and find the Twitter Book Club discussion that took place on December 13th below! Make sure to follow the Jewish Book Council (@jewishbook) for more Twitter events!


JewishBook: Hi all, and welcome @stuartnadler to December Twitter Book Club feat. The Book of Life! Follow our convo with #jbcbooks!

JewishBook: So @stuartnadler, why did you decide to call your work The Book of Life? So many of your characters are breaking commandments! #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@jewishbook A great, hard question! In part for that exact reason. But I've always loved that idea from the High Holiday services #jbcbooks

JewishBook: .@stuartnadler why did you choose the short-story format for this book? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@JewishBook I wrote stories because I love short fiction! There are so many wonderful story writers working today. It's a beautiful form.

JewishBook: .@stuartnadler was there one particular story that got the ball rolling for the others? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler.@JewishBook I think story collection happen by accident. My plan wasn't to write a book. That just happened." #jbcbooks

StuartNadler.@JewishBook I think I began to realize at a certain point that I was preoccupied with the same issues. And that a collection was forming. 

JewLearn: @stuartnadler @jewishbook Lots of the stories are about adultery. Are you married? What does your spouse think.... #jbcbooks

JewLearn@stuartnadler @jewishbook ...or, how do you explain it to someone you're dating#jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@jewlearn @jewishbook Funny question. I am married. And she's my first reader. #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@jewlearn @jewishbook But I see the stories more about temptation, and succumbing to temptation more than a simple case of cheating.

BookGal102: .@stuartnadler as far as the whole collection..did you know it would be a collection? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@BookGal102 Eventually I did see a collection. But not until I'd written all the stories. Then you start cutting and shaping. #jbcbooks

NYCBook: .@stuartnadler Were there any moments you felt to be particularly uplifting? Pure moments? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@nycbook I think there are uplifting moments in all of them. I do like the end of the book, though. The last page. #jbcbooks

NYCBook: .@stuartnadler i liked that part, it cast a whole new light on the stories for me #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@nycbook I'm glad!

JewishBook: .@stuartnadler Have you struggled, like your characters, with conflicting religious and secular values? (Winter on the Sawtooth) #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@JewishBook Not really. But I've thought about it, and still think about it. That was the real root of these stories. That preoccupation.

JewishBook: .@stuartnadler was there a particular moment or experience that gave you that preoccupation? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@JewishBook Part of it was a lifetime of thinking about the cultural/religious question, which is hard to avoid...

StuartNadler: .@JewishBook …and part of it was a few years of trying and failing to figure that question out in my writing. #jbcbooks

BookGal102: .@stuartnadler Your book focuses heavily on men-- troubled men especially. Are any stories reflective of your own experiences? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@BookGal102 No! It's all fiction! #jbcbooks

BookGal102@stuartnadler :) Just checking #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@BookGal102 That's why I love writing fiction. My characters have far more interesting lives than I do. #jbcbooks

Kaufmancarol: .@stuartnadler do you see a lot of people around you questioning the cultural/religious question? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@kaufmancarol I do. I really think people my age are hunting around for an answer, and there's a certain spiritual alienation that ...

StuartNadler: .@kaufmancarol … people are trying to answer for themselves. That's at the heart of the issue. #jbcbooks

BookGal102: .@Stuartnadler So, what was your favorite story? I assume one stood out for you? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@BookGal102 A favorite? I don't know. They're all about 5 years old by now. But I still do like "Visiting," and the 1st story. #jbcbooks

EricaDreyfus: .@stuartnadler It's OK not to have a "favorite" story from your book. Kind of like a parent who is asked about a "favorite" child. #JBCBooks

StuartNadler@erikadreifus It's always the hardest question to answer.

JewishBook: .@stuartnadler might readers close this book wondering what “life” is really all about? Will they be filled with doubt or hope? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@JewishBook I think they're hopeful stories. I really do. Beneath all the doubt and sin, there's always hope. #jbcbooks

JewishBook: So @stuartnadler, what's coming up next for you? Any NYC readings, any new books coming out? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@JewishBook My novel WISE MEN will be out in the beginning of 2013. I'm excited for everyone to read it! #jbcbooks

NaomiFirestone: /@stuartnadler Interfaith marriages struggle particularly hard in this book, but you don’t necessarily say why... so, why? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@NaomiFirestone Aren't all marriages hard? I suppose that was a truth I took for granted. But the interfaith experience is especially...

StuartNadler: .@NaomiFirestone …challenging for my characters. And that's particularly because they're parents. That's always where the conflicts begin.

NaomiFirestone: .@stuartnadler Truth. You presented the conflicts and struggles so well... #Jbcbooks

StuartNadler@NaomiFirestone Thanks, Naomi.

NYCBook: .@stuartnadler Do you feel that you wrote the fathers as being a bit more worldly-wise or understanding than their sons? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@nycbook Probably. I feel like that's probably always the case in real life!

JewishBook: .@stuartnadler So let's close with happy things to come! Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from Wise Men? #jcbooks

StuartNadler: .@JewishBook It's a big book, spread out across 70ish years. It's about love, race, money, baseball, and airplanes. #jbcbooks

NYCBook@stuartnadler sounds great!! #jbcbooks. do you see it as a "men's" book? #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@nycbook I don't!

JewishBook: .@stuartnadler Alright! Airplanes! Well thanks so much for participating everyone! Let's let Mr. Nadler get back to writing #jbcbooks

StuartNadler: .@JewishBook Thanks for the great questions everyone!

LittleBrown: RT @jewishbook: @littlebrown great twitter book club with @stuartnadler going on right now! #jbcbooks

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