'The Ministry of Special Cases' by Nathan Englander
The luminous star of Black Swan finds beauty, struggle and recognition in works that shed light on who we are—whether we're protesting in Argentina, living in downtown Jerusalem or navigating the perils of Sudan.
The Ministry of Special Cases
By Nathan Englander

In Argentina's "dirty war" in the '70s, the military government had thousands of activists and political opponents "disappeared." This novel is about a mother and father dealing with the disappearance of their son. It's a moving book that also has a lot of dark comedy in it. For instance, the parents accept free nose jobs in exchange for a debt. It also captures the comic absurdity of the bureaucracy of a dictatorship. What's most interesting to me is, as one character makes clear, the truth tellers in life are so often written off as crazy.

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