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Etgar Keret has been heralded countless times as Israel’s modern day Kafka—the Vonnegut, the Woody Allen of Israel.
Tomorrow night, Seattle will get a taste of what all the hubbub is about. We will be given the opportunity to get a glimpse into this popular author’s quirky personality and his engaging new collection of short stories, Suddenly a Knock on the Door.
Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Keret is sometimes described as being “at the forefront of a ‘new’ kind of Israeli writing,” one that wants little to do with political entanglement. Unavoidably, the region’s turmoil saturates his work, yet his stories convey no clear message or ideological position.
“Most of the Jewish writer friends I have are American and I feel closer to them because they’re always obsessed with one issue – identity: what does it mean to be an American Jew?” Israelis, he says, rarely deal with the question of what it means to be Israeli. “Maybe it’s too difficult, but they tend to suppress it. There is something about Jewish writing that’s very reflective, while Israeli writing is more active and epic in nature.”
Instead, Keret’s work is wildly imaginative and extraordinarily witty. He manages to be both sophisticated and “anti-literary,” humorous, while slyly serious. As William Skidelsky wrote last month in the Observer, “While invariably set in contemporary Israel, and full of sex and violence, they also hark back to older storytelling traditions, such as the parable, the folk tale and the absurdist fictions of Gogol and Kafka.”
Join Seattle Arts and Lectures tomorrow night, Wednesday, April 25 for Etgar Keret’s talk at Town Hall. Hear about his connection with writing, where he pulls his inspiration (after having spent ten long years on this last collection) and participate in some Q&A.
Don’t miss the LitUp! event prior to Keret’s lecture at the Sorrento Hotel, sponsored by SAL and Jew-ish.com. This mix and mingle hour will start at 6 p.m., with ample time to walk over to Town Hall (across the street) together as a group to see Keret speak.