The seven years between the birth of Etgar Keret's son and the death of his father were good years, though still full of reasons to worry. Read more...
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The seven years between the birth of Etgar Keret's son and the death of his father were good years, though still full of reasons to worry. Lev is born in the midst of a terrorist attack. Etgar's father gets cancer. The threat of constant war looms over their home and permeates daily life.
What emerges from this dark reality is a series of sublimely absurd ruminations on everything from Etgar's three-year-old son's impending military service to the terrorist mind-set behind Angry Birds. There's Lev's insistence that he is a cat, releasing him from any human responsibilities or rules. Etgar's siblings, all very different people who have chosen radically divergent paths in life, come together after his father's shivah to experience the grief and love that tie a family together forever. This wise, witty memoir--Etgar's first nonfiction book published in America, and told in his inimitable style--is full of wonder and life and love, poignant insights, and irrepressible humor.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-04-20
- Reviewer: Staff
In this slim, episodic set of recollections, acclaimed Israeli fiction writer Keret (The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God) covers the span between the birth of his son and the death of his father. In spare, wry prose, he recounts his child’s birth, the same day as a terrorist attack, and sums up the violent underpinnings of current Israeli life when he tells a disappointed journalist that “the attacks are always the same. What can you say about an explosion and senseless death?” This apolitical, irreligious, and wry fatalism recalls a great deal of Jewish humor, a meditation on the absurd and vital. The initial courtship of Keret’s parents, both Holocaust survivors, is lovingly described with a thirst for life that reflects the vitality of Israel’s earliest decades. Keret thinks and feels deeply, but he makes heavy points with a light touch, describing a childhood friend as having “the smiling but tough expression of an aging child who had already learned a thing or two about this stupid world.” While the short chapters move in linear fashion, each stands firmly on its own.. Without overplaying any single aspect of a complicated life in complicated times in a complicated place, Keret’s lovely memoir retains its essential human warmth, demonstrating that with memoirs, less can often be more. (June)