Saturday, June 20, 2015

Etgar Keret

Etgar Keret’s new book, The Seven Good Years, is a memoir.

From a Q & A with Tobias Carroll at his publisher's website:

Have you found that your writing is viewed differently from country to country? As a writer who occasionally writes about Israeli politics, are those pieces received differently in, say, New York than in Israel?

There is a difference, of course, between writing fiction and writing op-eds. The reaction to op-eds is different between Israel and overseas. But when it comes to stories … In Israel, I’m much more well known than anywhere else in the world. Some of my stories are in high school curriculums; basically, every student who’s graduated knows at least a couple of my stories. My books sell about 100,000 copies. There are fewer than six million Hebrew speakers, so [a large percentage] have read my work. Even the countries where I’m the most successful, like Poland or Turkey or Mexico, I’m not as well known as I am in Israel. There’s something about a dialogue; there’s a different dialogue when you’re a literary writer than when you’re seen as a best-selling author. This affects the kind of dialogue I have.

In different countries, people get connected to different stories. I get asked different questions. For example, I just came from Vietnam. The most common question that I was asked, both in interviews and in reading events, was: How do I know when a story ends? That was a question that I had never been asked, anywhere else on earth. I remember that when one of my books appeared in Korea, everybody asked me about a story called “Black and Blue,” from Suddenly, a Knock at the Door. This book has appeared in more than 20 countries, and no one had asked me about that story anywhere else; in Korea, everyone asked me about it. Different stories resonate...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue