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"Is Reality Overrated?" - A Conversation & Reading with Etgar Keret

Tuesday, October 01, 2013
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
NEW VENUE: UCLA Fowler Museum, Lenart Auditorium (Room A103B)
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Moderated by Adrian Todd Zuniga, host/creator/CCO of Literary Death Match

Co-sponsored by Writers Bloc

Additional co-sponsors: UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, UCLA Department of Comparative Literature

Hailed as the voice of young Israel and one of its most radical and extraordinary writers, Etgar Keret is internationally acclaimed for his short stories. Born in Tel Aviv in 1967 to an extremely diverse family -- his brother heads an Israeli group that lobbies for the legalization of marijuana, and his sister is an orthodox Jew and the mother of ten children -- Keret regards his family as a microcosm of Israel. 

Funny, absurd, tragic and poignant, his short story collections are bestsellers in Israel and have been published in twenty-two languages. These include The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God (2004); Gaza Blues (2004); Missing Kissinger (2007); and Girl on the Fridge (2008), among others. His most recent volume, Suddenly a Knock on the Door (2010), became an instant #1 bestseller in Israel. 

As a filmmaker, Keret is the writer of several feature screenplays, including Skin Deep (1996), which won First Prize at several international film festivals and was awarded the Israeli Oscar. Wrist Cutters, featuring Tom Waits, was released in August 2007. Jellyfish, his first movie as a director along with his wife Shira Geffen, won the coveted Camera d'Or prize for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival 2007. The animated feature film $9.99, based on several of Keret's stories, marries the tradition of Jewish self-flagellating humor with uncanny absurdity. The film shows us miracles coexisting with the mundane, and offers a beguiling view of what hope looks like in a hauntingly fragmented world.

Keret, at present, teaches at Ben Gurion University

Sales and signing of Etgar Keret's books Suddenly, A Knock on the Door and Girl on the Fridge will take place following the talk.

Adrian Todd Zuniga is the host/creator/CCO of Literary Death Match, a competitive, humor-centric literary event now featured in 50 cities worldwide that will make it TV debut in 2014. He's also president and founding editor of Opium Magazine, and his fiction has been featured in Gopher Illustrated and Stymie, and online at Lost Magazine and McSweeney's. He lives between Los Angeles and guest rooms all over Europe. He longs for a Chicago Cubs World Series and an EU passport

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Editorial Reviews:

“A brilliant writer . . . completely unlike any writer I know. The voice of the next generation.” —Salman Rushdie

“[Suddenly a Knock on the Door is] Keret’s greatest book yet—the most funny, dark, and poignant. It’s tempting to say these stories are his most Kafkaesque, but in fact they are his most Keretesque.” —Jonathan Safran Foer

“Etgar Keret’s stories are funny, with tons of feeling, driving towards destinations you never see coming. They’re written in the most unpretentious, chatty voice possible, but they’re also weirdly poetic. They stick in your gut. You think about them for days. “ —Ira Glass, host and producer of This American Life

Parking Information:

Pay-per-space parking is available in UCLA Parking Lot 4 for $6 for two hours or $12 all day.  Enter the campus at Sunset Blvd. and Westwood Plaza (the parking lot will be straight ahead). The pay stations accept bills in $1 and $5 increments or credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, Discover), but no coins.

For additional directions to campus, visit

Sponsor(s): Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Center for Jewish Studies

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