Etgar Keret

Best-Selling Israeli Writer
Award-winning Filmmaker

 

 

“Etgar Keret is a genius...” —New York Times

"A brilliant writer...completely unlike any writer I know. The voice of the next generation." —Salman Rushdie

 

“If Kafka has the power to smash through the frozen sea of our souls, Keret perhaps can infiltrate our gray matter, adding synapses where none existed before.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Hailed as the voice of young Israel and one of its most radical and extraordinary writers, Etgar Keret is internationally acclaimed for his short stories. Born in Tel Aviv in 1967 to an extremely diverse family, his brother heads an Israeli group that lobbies for the legalization of marijuana, and his sister is an orthodox Jew and the mother of ten children. Keret regards his family as a microcosm of Israel. His book, The Nimrod Flip-Out, (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006), is a collection of 32 short stories that captures the craziness of life in Israel today. Rarely extending beyond three or four pages, these stories fuse the banal with the surreal. Shot through with a dark, tragicomic sensibility and casual, comic-strip violence, he offers a window on a surreal world that is at once funny and sad.

Interview with the Paris Review Daily

His books are bestsellers in Israel and have been published in over thirty languages. Books include Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God (2004, St. Martin’s Press); Missing Kissinger (2007, Chatto & Windus); and Gaza Blues (2004). In France, Kneller`s Happy Campers is listed as one of the Fnac`s two-hundred books of the decade, and The Nimrod Flip-Out was published in Francis Ford Coppola`s magazine, Zoetrope (2004). His most recent book Suddenly a Knock on the Door (2010) became an instant #1 bestseller in Israel and is forthcoming in the states. Keret has received the Book Publishers Association`s Platinum Prize several times, the Chevalier medallion of France's Order of Arts and Letters, and has been awarded the Prime Minister`s Prize and the Ministry of Culture`s Cinema Prize. More than forty short movies have been based on his stories, one of which won the American MTV Prize (1998). Keret's stories have even inspired Polish architect Jakub Szczesny to build in Warsaw the narrowest house in the world (38 inches wide). The house was named after Keret, who will be using the house for several years.

LA Times review of Suddenly, a Knock on the Door

As a filmmaker, Keret is the writer of several feature screenplays, including Skin Deep (1996), which won First Prize at several international film festivals and was awarded the Israeli Oscar. Wrist Cutters, featuring Tom Waits, was released in August 2007. Jellyfish, his first movie as a director along with his wife Shira Geffen, won the coveted Camera d'Or prize for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival 2007. The animated feature film $9.99, based on several of Keret's stories, marries the tradition of Jewish self-flagellating humor with uncanny absurdity. The film shows us miracles coexisting with the mundane, and offers a beguiling view of what hope looks like in a hauntingly fragmented world. Keret, at present, teaches at Ben Guryon University.

NY Times review of Suddenly, a Knock on the Door

About SUDDENLY, A KNOCK ON THE DOOR (Stories, 2012)

"If you have room in your heart, wallet or reading list for just one book of short stories this year, make it Etgar Keret's Suddenly, A Knock On The Door. I don't care that it's only April: It's a superlative collection, one that will easily stand up to all comers." —LA Times

 

Part Kafka, part Vonnegut, with the concerns and comedic delivery of Woody Allen, Etgar Keret is a brilliant and original master of the short story. Hilarious, witty, and always unusual, declared “a genius” by The New York Times, Keret brings all of his prodigious talent to bear in Suddenly, A Knock on the Door, his sixth bestselling collection. Long a household name in Israel, where he has been declared the voice of his generation, Keret has been acknowledged as one of the country’s most radical and extraordinary writers. Exuding a rare combination of depth and accessibility, Keret’s tales overflow with absurdity, humor, sadness, and compassion, and though their circumstances are often strange and surreal, his characters are defined by a familiar and fierce humanity. Suddenly, Knock on the Door is at once Keret’s most mature and most playful work yet, and establishes him as one of the great global writers of the twenty-first century.

About THE GIRL ON THE FRIDGE (Stories, 2008)
This is a new collection of the stories that made Etgar Keret Israel’s bestselling and most acclaimed young writer. A birthday-party magician whose hat tricks end in horror and gore, a girl parented by a major household appliance, the possessor of the lowest IQ in the Mossad—such are the denizens of Etgar Keret’s dark and fertile mind. The Girl on the Fridge contains the best of Keret’s first collections, the ones that made him a household name in Israel and the major discovery of this last decade.

Etgar Keret website