Wednesday, March 29, 2006

New Writing from Israel

Here's recent story from Etgar Keret, one of my favorite Israeli writers. He's basically the forerunner of the cluster of young, hip, Tel-Aviv writers who are creating buzz and attaining recognition by the literary world. And it's well deserved, but you can judge for yourself. I had the privilege of interviewing Keret a few summers ago and found him absolutely engaging in person. He often does readings for groups of young Americans on free trips to Israel and they are almost always engrossed in listening to him and his stories. Probably because the stories are simultaneously accessible and indecipherable. They are super-short, oftentimes wryly funny, full of ideas, and yet inexplicably enigmatic. It's as if he is trying to capture a feeling or a moment and you don't get there until the very end. This is particularly true in his first story "Pipes" or in "Halibut" which I love for its description of the economic recession brought on by the Intifada - how life was a little fatter for those who had money to spend.

Ira Glass of This American Life fame does a great job reading and chatting with Keret about his stories. Hear it here on Nextbook.

According to Keret's website, "Wristcutters: A Love Story," a film based on his novella played at Sundance this year. I'm salivating to see it because it features Will Arnett (who played Gob on "Arrested Development and who is irresistible) and Tom Waits. And it's about the after-life. A surreal sandwich, anyone?

1 comment:

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