In college I took a creative writing class that focused on ‘short short stories.’ Like, really short. Micro short. Blogger short.
Ever since reading The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God I realized that this guy was doing what I wanted to be doing with short stories. And so, I started following him. And everything he’s written…
…in English. Until last week. I had it on my to-do list to grab a copy of צנורות, Keret’s first published collection of shorts, in Hebrew. I’ve only read the translated stuff and I thought if anything, his stuff will be a breeze to read in Hebrew.
Last week I stopped by צומת ספרים (yes, there is another popular Israeli bookstore chain aside from Steimatsky!). The store was having a ‘buy 1 get 2’ sale. I knew Keret’s new book came out recently but I also knew there was no way it would be part of the sale. What I found out shortly after knowing all that other stuff was: three of his older collections were… so I brought a copy of each up to the cashier.
She looked up at me and exclaimed, “Oh, isn’t he just amazing?! Have you read his new one yet?” I told her I’ve actually only read the others in English, so now I’m going to try them in Hebrew. She gave me props and told me the new one was also on sale, 30 shekel, how could a diehard not pick that up?
So I did. Four-books-for-the-price-of-two later and I’m steeped in Etgar Keret short storyness for a while.
By the way, I was right. His stuff is a breeze to read in Hebrew. So if you’re an oleh wondering where to start with that, Keret is a grand place. And I highly recommend צנורות.