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The Girl on the Fridge Stories - Etgar Keret

The Girl on the Fridge Stories

Paperback

Published: 15th April 2008
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
7 to 10 business days
RRP $22.99
$22.80

A birthday-party magician whose hat tricks end in horror and gore; a girl parented by a major household appliance; the possessor of the lowest IQ in the Mossad--such are the denizens of Etgar Keret's dark and fertile mind. "The Girl on the Fridge "contains the best of Keret's first collections, the ones that made him a household name in Israel and the major discovery of this last decade. Etgar Keret was born in Tel Aviv in 1967. His stories have been featured on "This American Life "and "Selected Shorts." As screenwriters/directors, he and his wife, Shira Geffen, won the 2007 Palme d'Or for Best Debut Feature ("Jellyfish") at the Cannes Film Festival. A birthday-party magician whose hat tricks end in horror and gore; a girl parented by a major household appliance; the possessor of the lowest IQ in the Mossad--such are the denizens of Etgar Keret's dark and fertile mind. "The Girl on the Fridge" contains the best of Keret's first collections, the ones that made him a household name in Israel and the major discovery of this last decade. "Keret may be the most important writer working in Israel right now; certainly he is the closest observer of its post-intifada, post-Oslo spiritual condition. And astonishingly, he is also the Israeli writer closest to the literary tradition of pre-Israel, pre-Holocaust European Jewry . . . Kafka said that literature should be an ax to break the frozen sea within us. Keret is a writer wailing at the ice with a Wiffle ball bat."--Stephen Marche, "The Forward "

"From the beginning, the most unmistakable aspect of Keret's style has been the length of his stories. Averaging about three pages, each presents a single fully formed incident, often surreal. In one of the stories in "The Girl on the Fridge," a man waiting on the street hears from a passerby that the buses are all dead. When he goes to the central bus station, he sees 'hundreds scattered all over the place, rivulets of fuel oozing out of their disemboweled shells, their shattered innards strewn on the black and silent asphalt.' The story manages to be both whimsical and deeply serious, a flight of fancy built around an image from the very real world of suicide bombings . . . Keret's stories] present an extraordinary vision, a fresh, original and effective portrait of a society and its beleaguered young men. In three-page bursts, he shows us an Israel no longer filled with pioneers and heroes but with ordinary people--a view from the ground, as genuine as it is bleak."--Joseph Weisberg, "The New York Times Book Review
""Keret is a brilliant writer . . . completely unlike any writer I know. He is the voice of the next generation."--Salman Rushdie
"Short, strange, funny, deceptively casual in tone and affect, stories that sound like a joke but aren't--Etgar Keret is a writer to be taken seriously."--Yann Martel
"Some writers scribble notes on cocktail napkins. Others compose entire literary collections on cocktail napkins. Reading Etgar Keret's new book of 46 very short tales, one suspects that the main criteria for inclusion were that his stories be 1) funny, 2) bizarre and 3) capable of fitting inside the wet, splotchy ring left by a pint glass. Rarely are stories as economical as Keret's, and rarely are economical stories as affecting as these. Keret, an Israeli writer whose work has been featured on "This American Life" and "Selected Shorts," explores the nature of violence and alienation from a surreal, whimsical perspective in writings that rarely exceed five pages in length. Even the most impatient reader has time for these quick reads. An especially memorable tale is 'Hat Trick, ' in which a magician struggles to capture the attention of video-game-playing children at a birthday party. When, to his shock, the rabbit he pulls from his hat emerges without a body (just 'the head, and lots and lots of blood') he gets five job offers the next day from kids impressed by his gory performance. A child of Holocaust survivors and a former soldier himself, Keret imbues many of his stories with the very same terror that characterizes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and yet he never espouses any particular political ideology. He has, in fact, been criticized for his ambivalence by A.B. Yehoshua, the elder statesman of Israeli letters (his response to Yehoshua might very well present itself in the form of 'No Politics, ' another story in this collection). If Keret does have an ideology, it's that violence, in any form, is absurd--sometimes comically absurd. What's most intriguing about these stories is their impressive brevity. In perhaps a self-referential nod to his own tendency to whittle down a story to its most indivisible elements, Keret even includes a tale called 'Quanta, ' the plural of quantum, a Latin word meaning 'what quantity.' To which Keret might reply: 'How many napkins you got?'"--Tiffany Lee-Youngren, "The San Diego-Union Tribune
""The first story in "The Girl on the Fridge," Israeli writer Etgar Keret's new collection, doubles as an opening announcement: The briefest of the book's 46 exceptionally short pieces, 'Asthma Attack' suggests the value that words accrue when one is unable to breathe. 'A word's a lot, ' he argues, especially when that word is 'ambulance.' Asthma sufferers learn to choose them well; 'Let healthy people toss out whatever comes to mind, ' Keret writes, 'the way you throw out garbage.' By his own metric, Keret (whose last collection was "The Nimrod Flipout") is the raging asthmatic of short-fiction writers, his words chosen and few, his stories issued with the urgency of an inhaler's blast. It may seem perverse that a writer so devoted to the well-selected word should traffic in terms like nimrod, flipout, and--in this collection--homo, dipshit, and retard. But the middle-school slurs and wistful deadpan of Keret's language, and the absurdist tendencies of his aesthetic, belie an ability to wallop the reader with the earthbound and the awful. Kere

"Keret is a brilliant writer . . . completely unlike any writer I know. He is the voice of the next generation." --Salman Rushdie"Keret may be the most important writer working in Israel right now; certainly he is the closest observer of its post-intifada, post-Oslo spiritual condition. And astonishingly, he is also the Israeli writer closest to the literary tradition of pre-Israel, pre- Holocaust European Jewry . . . Kafka said that literature should be an ax to break the frozen sea within us. Keret is a writer whaling at the ice with a Wiffle ball bat." --Stephen Marche, The Forward"Short, strange, funny, deceptively casual in tone and affect, stories that sound like a joke but aren't--Etgar Keret is a writer to be taken seriously." --Yann Martel"Keret can do more with six . . . paragraphs than most writers can with 600 pages." --Kyle Smith, People -Keret is a brilliant writer . . . completely unlike any writer I know. He is the voice of the next generation.- --Salman Rushdie-Keret may be the most important writer working in Israel right now; certainly he is the closest observer of its post-intifada, post-Oslo spiritual condition. And astonishingly, he is also the Israeli writer closest to the literary tradition of pre-Israel, pre- Holocaust European Jewry . . . Kafka said that literature should be an ax to break the frozen sea within us. Keret is a writer whaling at the ice with a Wiffle ball bat.- --Stephen Marche, The Forward-Short, strange, funny, deceptively casual in tone and affect, stories that sound like a joke but aren't--Etgar Keret is a writer to be taken seriously.- --Yann Martel-Keret can do more with six . . . paragraphs than most writers can with 600 pages.- --Kyle Smith, People Keret is a brilliant writer . . . completely unlike any writer I know. He is the voice of the next generation. "Salman Rushdie" Keret may be the most important writer working in Israel right now; certainly he is the closest observer of its post-intifada, post-Oslo spiritual condition. And astonishingly, he is also the Israeli writer closest to the literary tradition of pre-Israel, pre- Holocaust European Jewry . . . Kafka said that literature should be an ax to break the frozen sea within us. Keret is a writer whaling at the ice with a Wiffle ball bat. "Stephen Marche, The Forward" Short, strange, funny, deceptively casual in tone and affect, stories that sound like a joke but aren't--Etgar Keret is a writer to be taken seriously. "Yann Martel" Keret can do more with six . . . paragraphs than most writers can with 600 pages. "Kyle Smith, People"" "Keret is a brilliant writer . . . completely unlike any writer I know. He is the voice of the next generation." --Salman Rushdie"Keret may be the most important writer working in Israel right now; certainly he is the closest observer of its post-intifada, post-Oslo spiritual condition. And astonishingly, he is also the Israeli writer closest to the literary tradition of pre-Israel, pre- Holocaust European Jewry . . . Kafka said that literature should be an ax to break the frozen sea within us. Keret is a writer whaling at the ice with a Wiffle ball bat." --Stephen Marche, "The Forward ""Short, strange, funny, deceptively casual in tone and affect, stories that sound like a joke but aren't--Etgar Keret is a writer to be taken seriously." --Yann Martel "Keret can do more with six . . . paragraphs than most writers can with 600 pages." --Kyle Smith, "People" "Keret is a brilliant writer, unlike anyone I've read. He is the voice of the next generation."--Salman Rushdie"Keret may be the most important writer working in Israel right now; certainly he is the closest observer of its post-intifada, post-Oslo spiritual condition. And astonishingly, he is also the Israeli writer closest to the literary tradition of pre-Israel, pre- Holocaust European Jewry . . . Kafka said that literature should be an ax to break the frozen sea within us. Keret is a writer wailing at the ice with a Wiffle ball bat." --Stephen Marche, "The Forward ""Short, strange, funny, deceptively casual in tone and affect, stories that sound like a joke but aren't--Etgar Keret is a writer to be taken seriously." --Yann Martell "Keret can do more with six . . . paragraphs than most writers can with 600 pages." --Kyle Smith, "People" "I read this book in bed beside my boyfriend who was reading a much less interesting book and I kept shouting 'Wow' and 'No way' and 'Oh my god' and my boyfriend would say, 'What? what?' and I'd shake my head and say, 'You wouldn't get it. You just have to read it.' After I finished the book I immediately became more deadpan, more ridiculous and more in touch with my own mortality. My boyfriend was impressed with the new me and I told him, 'It's that book, THE NIMROD FLIPOUT--it's opened up a whole new world for me.' Now he's reading it, just so we can stay on the same plane of reality together." --Miranda July, SALON "Keret is a brilliant writer, unlike anyone I've read. He is the voice of the next generation."--Salman Rushdie "Keret may be the most important writer working in Israel right now; certainly he is the closest observer of its post-intifada, post-Oslo spiritual condition. And astonishingly, he is also the Israeli writer closest to the literary tradition of pre-Israel, pre- Holocaust European Jewry . . . Kafka said that literature should be an ax to break the frozen sea within us. Keret is a writer wailing at the ice with a Wiffle ball bat." --Stephen Marche, "The Forward ""Short, strange, funny, deceptively casual in tone and affect, stories that sound like a joke but aren't--Etgar Keret is a writer to be taken seriously." --Yann Martell "Keret can do more with six . . . paragraphs than most writers can with 600 pages." --Kyle Smith, "People" "Keret may be the most important writer working in Israel right now; certainly he is the closest observer of its post-intifada, post-Oslo spiritual condition. And astonishingly, he is also the Israeli writer closest to the literary tradition of pre-Israel, pre- Holocaust European Jewry . . . Kafka said that literature should be an ax to break the frozen sea within us. Keret is a writer wailing at the ice with a Wiffle ball bat." --Stephen Marche, "The Forward ""Short, strange, funny, deceptively casual in tone and affect, stories that sound like a joke but aren't--Etgar Keret is a writer to be taken seriously." --Yann Martell "Keret can do more with six . . . paragraphs than most writers can with 600 pages." --Kyle Smith, "People"

ISBN: 9780374531058
ISBN-10: 0374531056
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 171
Published: 15th April 2008
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.34  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.17