Episode 69 — Etgar Keret


Etgar Keret is the guest.  He’s the author of several books, the most recent of which is called Suddenly, a Knock on the Door, now available from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

Jonathan Safran Foer calls it

Keret’s greatest book yet—the most funny, dark, and poignant. It’s tempting to say these stories are his most Kafkaesque, but in fact they are his most Keretesque.

And Ira Glass, host and producer of This American Life, says:

Etgar Keret’s stories are funny, with tons of feeling, driving towards destinations you never see coming. They’re written in the most unpretentious, chatty voice possible, but they’re also weirdly poetic. They stick in your gut. You think about them for days.

So pleased to have Etgar on the program.

Topics of conversation include:  stuff, materialism, grandfather clocks, Warsaw ghetto, Holocaust, books, Poland, bedtime stories, whores, drunks, the British, holes, Jews, Nazis, geniuses, adolescence, orthodox Judaism, religion, agnosticism, activism, truancy, the military, science, math, computers, philosophy, writing, not wanting to be a writer, asthma, guns, the Middle East, Israel, optimism, pessimism, government, Hamas, Arab Spring, fundamentalism, tyranny, opportunity, education, cinema, Jellyfish, Cannes, Camera d’Or, mango juice, work ethic, forcing oneself to make art, and the dangers of self-obsession.

Monologue topics: road trips, punctuality, barfing, nuclear reactors, children, microorganisms, and the dark art of concealment.