Post­ed by Nao­mi Firestone-Teeter

This com­ing week’s New York­er fea­tures fic­tion by Nathan Eng­lan­der: Free Fruit for Young Widows”

When the Egypt­ian Pres­i­dent Gamal Abdel Nass­er took con­trol of the Suez Canal, threat­en­ing West­ern access to that vital route, an agi­tat­ed France shift­ed alle­giances, join­ing forces with Britain and Israel against Egypt. This is a fact nei­ther here nor there, except that dur­ing the 1956 Sinai Cam­paign there were sol­diers in the Israeli Army and sol­diers in the Egypt­ian Army who end­ed up wear­ing iden­ti­cal French-sup­plied uni­forms to battle.

Not long into the fight­ing, an Israeli pla­toon came to rest at a cap­tured Egypt­ian camp to the east of Bir Gafgafa, in the Sinai Desert. There Pri­vate Shim­my Gez­er (for­mer­ly Shi­mon Bib­berblat, of War­saw, Poland) sat down to eat at a makeshift out­door mess. Four armed com­man­dos sat down with him. He grunt­ed. They grunt­ed. Shim­my dug into his lunch.

Keep read­ing here.

A final­ist for the Pulitzer Prize, Nathan’s short fic­tion has been wide­ly anthol­o­gized, most recent­ly in 100 Years of the Best Amer­i­can Short Sto­ries.