Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Etgar Keret



I'm reading this book. I have been meaning to read some Etgar Keret short fiction for a long long time, and was prompted by this (wonderful) gift. I'm so excited by how brilliant it is. It makes me wonder where I've been all these years when I should have been reading this, or one of this other books.

If there is anyone who doesn't read short fiction, start here. If there is anyone who thinks short fiction is for wimps who should be reading novels, then please read this. If anyone thinks short fiction has been reading boring short fiction... you know, get a copy of this book and I promise you will love it.

It's really accessible, no fancy pants language, complicated narratives or experimental plots. It's clever, laugh out loud clever, no-idea-where-this-is gong clever, it's emotional (read the one about the woman killed by a suicide bomber only to be found in the postmortem to be riddled with tumours), it's quirky, magical, very funny (the man who has a beautiful girlfriend who turns into a hariy football playing man at night). I think he's a genius actually. These stories remind me of Raymond Carver, in the way they have an easy-written style, characters that we can relate to, ordinary moments turned into extraordinary stories. But he's more weird than Carver.

I had a moment last night where I thought 'OH MY GOD, what am I doing trying to be writer when there is Etgar Keret'. But, then I stopped myself and said, 'No, I'm doing alright, it's different, it's not genius, but I've got my own little thing going on.' Writing like this is to aspire to.

5 comments:

Miriam said...

And amongst all the weirdness he has some very meaningful things to say.

Nik Perring said...

Reading this made me very, very happy. And there is definitely room enough for Keret and Clarkson in this wonderful world of short fiction.

Nik

Tania Hershman said...

So glad you've discovered the wonder of Etgar Keret. He is not only a fabulous short story writer, he is groundbreaking in terms of Israeli authors, doing something no-one had ever done. I love love his stories. I've met him too! Excellent point you make about how people should read his stuff if they think short stories are for wimps, or are boring. Oh yes!

green ink said...

"I've got my own little thing going on" - what sensible, comforting words for me today Annie :)

annie clarkson said...

Thanks Miriam, Nik, Green Ink...

Tania, would love to find out what he's like, did you meet him in Israel? He is an amazing writer, I'm hooked.