Etgar Keret to talk at two events at 2012 Edinburgh Book Festival
The Israeli writer on his favourite conversation subject, and his friendship with fellow book event host Nathan Englander
This article is from 2012.
Etgar Keret is looking forward to returning to the Edinburgh International Book Festival: ‘I’ve been to the festival once and being a spoiled brat wouldn’t have came again unless I know for a fact that I’m going to have a great time.’ He’ll be doing two events this year; in the first, he’s with award-winning Irish writer Kevin Barry, in which he’ll read from his latest collection, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award nominee, Suddenly, A Knock on the Door.
Barry’s Dark Lies the Island was on there too, with the spoils taken by What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, by Nathan Englander, with whom Keret will share the stage in his second event. In a special masterclass they’ll contemplate the relationship between author and translator, exploring how a story lives and grows from one language to another.
Which event holds most appeal: reading from his own work, or musing upon the landscape of translation? ‘I always like having events with Nathan Englander. He is a close friend and we’ve already had a few events together and enough fun on stage to feel like some literary Blues Brothers. Then again, talking about your stories and reading them is kind of talking about myself which had always been one of my favourite topics.’
Keret has been declared a ‘genius’ by The New York Times and as one of the most original writers of his generation, and The Guardian said the stories in Suddenly are all ‘thought-experiments’. So what exactly should an uninitiated audience expect of the Keret experience? ‘It will definitely change the audience’s life.’ If you like your stories served with a side of magic and garnished with the unexpected, these two events should be central to your festival agenda.
10-16 Aug (with Kevin Barry), 7pm, £7 (£5); 17 Aug (with Nathan Englander), 7pm, £10 (£8).