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Melissa Deckard
Borns Jewish Studies Program

Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Israeli writer and filmmaker Etgar Keret to speak at Indiana University

Oct. 21, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Acclaimed Israeli writer and filmmaker Etgar Keret will visit Indiana University Bloomington for a reading and discussion on Monday, Oct. 26.

The evening with Keret, presented by IU's Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program, starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Georgian Room of the Indiana Memorial Union. It is free and open to the public.

Keret, hailed as the voice of young Israel and one of its most radical and extraordinary authors, is a writer of short stories and screenplays and a director of films. His books, including The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God, Missing Kissinger and Gaza Blues, are bestsellers in Israel and have been translated into 22 languages.

His 2008 short story collection The Girl on the Fridge includes tales about a birthday party magician whose hat tricks end in horror and gore, a girl parented by a major household appliance and the possessor of the lowest IQ in the Mossad.

Keret also is the writer of several screenplays, including Skin Deep, which won first prize at several international film festivals, and Wrist Cutters: A Love Story. Jellyfish, which he directed with his wife, Shira Geffen, won the Camera d'Or prize for best first feature at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. His short stories are the basis for $9.99, a 2008 animated film by Israeli filmmaker Tatia Rosenthal.

According to the New York Times, Keret "possesses an imagination not easily slotted into conventional literary categories. His very short stories might be described as Kafkaesque parables, magic-realist knock-knock jokes or sad kernels of cracked cosmic wisdom. When such vignettes are strung together into a feature (film) . . . they become even more elusive and strange."

Born in Tel Aviv in 1967, Keret regards his diverse family as a microcosm of Israel: His brother heads an Israeli group that lobbies for the legalization of marijuana, and his sister is an orthodox Jew and the mother of 10 children. He currently teaches at Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel.

For more information, contact Melissa Deckard with the Borns Jewish Studies Program at 812-856-6014 or