Putting the Book in Facebook


Alex Epstein left the Soviet Union at the age of 8, in 1979, and settled with his parents in Israel. Now he’s the author of seven books in Hebrew (two have been translated into English), and a recipient of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Prize for Literature.

Epstein’s latest publishing venture, a series of ultra-short stories called For My Next Illusion I Will Use Wings, was published in Israel last month. But the stories first appeared a few weeks before, in a quite different publication: A Facebook photo album.

The 90 pieces in the collection range in size from a sentence or two to a few short paragraphs. Each short story is its own picture in the Facebook album–all 90 are in Hebrew, and a few have been translated into English. “I chose the very low-tech format of a photo album, trying to keep the focus on the stories themselves,” he explains on the website ElectricLit. “This also made the book readable not only on a computer but also on an iPad or a smartphone, and even by people that don’t have a Facebook profile, without almost any technical effort on my part.”

The stories are funny, introspective, and wildly creative. “The bookworm began to fear death,” one begins. “To prepare, it started eating through prayer books.” Some authors come up with gimmicks to market themselves on the Internet. Others genuinely embrace the technology, finding new ways to tell stories digitally. With My Next Illusion, Epstein has created the rare type of story collection that’s both.

Recommended from JTA