A couple adopt a depressed hedgehog; a mother is seduced by the father of her daughter's imaginary friend; a man kidnap's his ex-wife's pet turtle. In eight tragicomic stories, Einstein's Beach House features ordinary men and women rising to life's extraordinary challenges.
Jacob M. Appel's first novel, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Award in 2012. His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize and will be published by Black Lawrence in November 2013.
Jacob has published short fiction in more than two hundred literary journals including Agni, Alaska Quarterly Review, Conjunctions, Colorado Review, Gettysburg Review, Iowa Review, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, StoryQuarterly, Subtropics, Threepenny Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and West Branch. He has won the New Millennium Writings contest four times, the Writer's Digest "grand prize" twice, and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom competition in both fiction and creative nonfiction. He has also won annual contests sponsored by Boston Review, Missouri Review, Arts & Letters, Bellingham Review, Briar Cliff Review, North American Review, Sycamore Review, Writers' Voice, the Dana Awards, the Salem Center for Women Writers, and Washington Square. His work has been short listed for the O. Henry Award (2001), Best American Short Stories (2007, 2008), Best American Essays (2011, 2012), and received "special mention" for the Pushcart Prize in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.
Jacob holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown University, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia University, an M.S. in bioethics from the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College, an M.D. from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, an M.F.A. in playwriting from Queens College, an M.P.H. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He has most recently taught at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he was honored with the Undergraduate Council of Students Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003, and at the Gotham Writers Workshop in New York City. He also publishes in the field of bioethics and contributes to such publications as the Journal of Clinical Ethics, the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the Hastings Center Report, and the Bulletin of the History of Medicine. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Detroit Free Press, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Times, The Providence Journal and many regional newspapers.
Jacob has been admitted to the practice of law in New York State and Rhode Island, and is a licensed New York City sightseeing guide.
"Jacob Appel captures New York City and its satellites around the turn of the millennium with painful, entertaining accuracy. Lives are coming apart, and coming together, in stories that live with you long after you've read them. Comparisons to Cheever, Trevor, and especially Chekhov can't be helped, but Appel writes with a grace and humor all his own." - Dan O'Brien, author of War Reporter and The Body of an American"
Jacob Appel is licensed to give sightseeing tours, and reading Einstein's Beach House certainly cements his qualifications. A capacious curiosity is at work here: Appel's stories move with thirstful purpose, rarely slowing, filled with wry humor and bon mots as we proceed briskly down his fictional paths, invited to examine modern ethical issues along the way. Take this tour--you'll want to give a tip once you reach the end." - Matthew Pitt, author of Attention Please Now
"A failed professional ventriloquist, a possibly morose hedgehog and a particularly acute array of parents and their children populate Jacob Appel's impossibly keen Einstein's Beach House -- a collection that takes a sharp look at the moments when we, whether child or adult, see who we truly are and the inevitability of who we will become. Appel's achy, skewed, sometimes heart-breaky world is dense with truth and humor -- the stuff of great literature." - Allison Lynn, author of The Exiles and Now You See It
"Sharp, observant, darkly funny and deeply humane." - Kirkus