NYS Writers Institute, March 16, 2009
Writing in “Tikkun,” Michael Lukas said, “In short, uncanny, and often hilarious bursts, Etgar Keret taps into the profound existential absurdity of being Israeli.” The “People” magazine reviewer said Keret “can do more with six strange and funny paragraphs than most writers can with 600 pages.”
“The Girl on the Fridge” features some of Etgar Keret’s darkest stories. A magician’s performance at a birthday party ends in carnage. A girl is parented to adulthood by a refrigerator. A group of children attempt to hang a cat after hearing a media report about an execution. “New York Times” reviewer Joseph Weisberg said that Keret’s stories “present an extraordinary vision, a fresh, original and effective portrait of a society…. a view from the ground, as genuine as it is bleak.”
In “Missing Kissinger,” a flightless angel becomes roadkill on a highway, a young boy finds self-affirmation in a magical ability to command ants, and a girl gives birth to a dinosaur egg, among other oddities. The UK “Daily Mail” called it “easily one of the most memorable, moving and laugh-aloud-funny books you’ll read in a long time.”
Etgar Keret codirected the film “Jellyfish” [“Meduzot”] (2007) with his wife Shira Geffen. Winner of the Camera d’Or at Cannes, the film is the magical tale of three women whose lives are changed after a mysterious little girl washes up on a Tel Aviv beach. Writing in “Salon,” Andrew O’Hehir said that the film’s three stories “are lovely and concise, with little emotional depth charges beneath them and nary a second wasted.”
NOTE: On March 13, the previous Friday, the Writers Institute will also screen the film “Wristcutters: A Love Story” (United States/United Kingdom, 2006, 88 minutes, color, directed by Goran Dukic), which is based on a short story by Etgar Keret, in association with his visit. The film will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in Page Hall on the University at Albany’s downtown campus. Based on Keret’s short story “Kneller’s Happy Campers,” “Wristcutters” is set in a peculiar afterlife populated exclusively by characters who have committed suicide.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.