Ruchama, a wigmaker from an ultra-orthodox Brooklyn enclave, journeys into Manhattan for inspiration, frequenting a newsstand where she flips through forbidden fashion magazines. An elderly Jew with a long, white beard reluctantly works as a department store Santa Claus every year - until he can take it no longer. And a Hasidic man, frustrated by his wife's lack of interest, gets a dispensation from a rabbi to see a prostitute for the relief of unbearable urges.
Nathan Englander is the author of the story collections For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, an international best seller, and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, and the nov els The Ministry of Special Cases and Dinner at the Center of the Earth. His books have been translated into twenty-two languages. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Award, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Let ters, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. He is Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter.