Etgar Keret

Best-selling Israeli Writer

Award-winning Filmmaker

"Etgar Keret is a genius…” —New York Times


“A brilliant writer…completely unlike any writer I know. The voice of the next generation.” —Salman Rushdie 


“If Kafka has the power to smash through the frozen sea of our souls, Keret perhaps can infiltrate our gray matter, adding synapses where none existed before.” —San Francisco Chronicle


"A story should always be smarter than the person writing it." —Etgar Keret

Internationally acclaimed for his short stories, Etgar Keret is hailed as the voice of young Israel. Rarely extending beyond three or four pages, Keret's stories fuse the banal with the surreal, and offer a window on a surreal world that is both dark and comic. Keret's books are bestsellers in Israel and have been published in over forty languages. His books include The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God, Missing Kissinger, The Nimrod flipout, The Girl on the Fridge, and Suddenly a Knock on the Door, which became an instant #1 bestseller in Israel. Keret is also the author of a memoir, The Seven Good Years, in which he contemplates moments of his life against a backdrop of constant conflict, casting an absurd light on both the monumental and mundane. Keret's new book of stories Fly Already  won the prestigious Sapir Prize.


Keret's work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Paris Review, among many other publications. He is a regular contributor to This American Life. In 2016 Keret was awarded The Charles Bronfman Prize, recognizing his work as inspiring Jewish Values and having global impact. Keret has also received the Book Publishers Association`s Platinum Prize several times, the Chevalier medallion of France’s Order of Arts and Letters, and has been awarded the Prime Minister`s Prize and the Ministry of Culture`s Cinema Prize. More than forty short movies have been based on his stories, one of which won the American MTV Prize (1998). Keret’s stories have inspired Polish architect Jakub Szczesny to build the narrowest house in the world (38 inches wide) in Warsaw. 


As a filmmaker, Keret is the writer of several feature screenplays, including Skin Deep (1996), which won First Prize at several international film festivals and was awarded the Israeli Oscar. Wrist Cutters, featuring Tom Waits, was based on Keret's story Kneller's Happy Campers. Jellyfish, his first movie as a director along with his wife Shira Geffen, won the coveted Camera d’Or prize for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival 2007. The animated feature film $9.99, based on several of Keret’s stories, marries the tradition of Jewish self-flagellating humor with uncanny absurdity. In 2019, together with his wife Shira Geffen, Keret wrote and directed "The Middleman", a mini-series for the French TV starring Mathieu Amalric. Watch the trailer of The Middleman

Etgar Keret's Website

Photo by Alessandro Moggi

Lecture Topics

  •  The Dark and the Surreal World of Etgar Keret

  •  Is Reality Overrated?

  •  The Keret House in Warsaw

  •  What Animal Are you?

  •  The Seven Good Years

  •  Shorts and Shorts: Keret's Stories and Films  

  •  Israeli Fiction through Literature and Film

  •  An Evening with Etgar Keret

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