Alex Epstein

The official website of the author Alex Epstein

The Angel that Brod and Kafka Dreamed of

Max Brod once dreamed of an angel who had only a right wing. The angel knocked on Brod’s door and asked where Kafka lived. Brod gave the angel directions, and thought in his dream that he had never in his life seen anything as terrifying as this one-winged angel. The next day Brod met Kafka. Kafka told him that on the previous night he had dreamed of an angel with no wings, who asked for Max Brod’s address.

From Blue Has No South, Clockroot Books.


Lunar Savings Time – Reviews

For My Next Illusion I Will Use Wings – The Facebook book

About my new “Facebook book” and social literature, at The Outlet, the blog of the wonderful Electric Literature magazine >>>

The full book in Hebrew >>>

Samples in English, via Electric Literature, translated by Jessica Cohen >>>

Ithaca in the Rain. The Rain in Auschwitz

Once upon a time there was a writer who published a memoir of his childhood in Buchenwald. This was the first time that he’d written about the Holocaust. All his life he wrote love stories (and in all of his love stories it rained endlessly, on almost every page, so that it was possible to close the book and still smell the odor of damp earth from within the leather binding, but this is another matter). Only after a few years, on his deathbed, he admitted that the whole story was nothing more than a fabrication. In those days he was not in Buchenwald, but in Auschwitz. And only for a year.

From Lunar Savings Time, Clockroot Books. From the Hebrew: Becka Mara McKay.

On the Power of Russian Literature

My great-grandmother once shut a book by Tolstoy so hard that a spark came from its pages, and the spark climbed up the curtains, and ignited a fire, and our summer house went up in flames. I did not inherit this talent of my great-grandmother’s, but once I did try to write a story in which everything took place in reverse: the summer house goes up in flames, the curtain burns, a spark catches in the pages of Anna Karenina, and so on: my great-grandmother shut the book so hard that the fire was extinguished.

From Lunar Savings Time, Clockroot Books. From the Hebrew: Becka Mara McKay. Art: Lior Reizel. Mixed technique on canvas (detail).


If All We Have

After midnight, in a hotel in a foreign country, they turned on the radio on the nightstand (they didn’t find any stations with songs that they knew). But from the balcony they could see, on the sea’s surface, the wandering paintbrush of the old lighthouse, which was still in operation. If all we have is the present, then time travel is music.

From Lunar Savings Time, Clockroot Books. From the Hebrew: Becka Mara McKay.


Lie to Me, Muse

All of the creases in the maps were flattened long ago. On this journey not ten years passed, but a whole life. Even the old man resting on the bench damp from rain cannot recognize his son from a picture in a wallet.

From Lunar Savings Time, Clockroot Books. From the Hebrew: Becka Mara McKay


Perfect Timing

To leave something for the family, the man who decided to commit suicide hired himself out as a one-time hit man. (He found guidance in his son’s schoolbooks: a sniffling Superman and a bird with a burning tail fly toward each other at such-and-such speed: when will they meet, etc.) Day and night he made calculations to time exactly his fall from the roof with the victim’s exit from the building. The only thing left to add is that certainly stories more miraculous and sad than this happen in the world. At the moment of truth he moved his watch from his right wrist to his left wrist and then dove.

From Lunar Savings Time, Clockroot Books. From the Hebrew: Becka Mara McKay


Four new short-short stories at Haaretz

Hebrew only >>>

On the Homeless, Heading Home

In Denver I saw a homeless man with a suitcase walking slowly from nowhere to nowhere. A few meters behind him, a torn plastic bag floated above the sidewalk. Wherever he turned—the plastic bag turned behind him. I once read about a similar incident that happened to Genghis Khan, but in his case it wasn’t a plastic bag, but a cloud in the sky.

From Lunar Savings Time, Clockroot Books. From the Hebrew: Becka Mara McKay