Genre in the Mainstream: The Shape Shifting Prose of Etgar Keret

Over at, Ryan Britt discusses the short fiction of Israeli author Etgar Keret:

Keret is a big fan of SF, and when I spoke to him last year for Clarkesworld Magazine, he listed a number of his favorite authors growing up, most of which were science fiction writers. Keret also considers the Hugo Award to be one of the highest honors an author can achieve, and many of his stories throughout the years would certainly be eligible. But beyond the SF elements present in nearly every single one of his short pieces of fiction, Keret is simply one of the best short story writers living today. The deception of his stories is that after you’ve read them, they don’t seem short. It seems like you lived with those characters and themes for much longer than a few pages. Like all good reading, Keret creates a time portal with his prose where the amount of time the reader spends inside of his head is unclear. The best short fiction, for me, creates a little pocket universe the reader can inhabit for an indefinite amount of time, while the prose itself is finite. The magic here is that so much can be contained inside of so little, and if you dive into the short fiction of Etgar Keret, you’ll see what I mean.

In America, there are three collections of Keret’s work available.(Some stand-alone novellas are exist as well.) The first is titled The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God, the secondThe Nimrod Flipout, and the most recent The Girl on the Fridge. I would probably recommend one starts with The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God, if only because it contains the epic “Kneller’s Happy Campers.” However, each and every book contains this young author’s wonderful imagination. Indeed, if you find yourself becoming a fan of this author’s magical realism stylings; the journey doesn’t have to end with books. Keret also directed the beautiful film Jellyfish which was written by his wife Shira Geffen. It tells the story of a mute girl who magically emerges out of the sea. The unearthly quality to this movie is haunting and certainly in keeping with Keret’s bizarre and fantastically view of the universe.

In any medium, Keret is one of the most unique living authors out there today. Pick up one of his books. If you don’t end up liking it, the stories are extremely short, so you’ll have wasted almost no time at all. – read the full article.


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