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The Dark & The Surreal: Etgar Keret + Ayelet Waldman

May 7, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0

$10 – $25

Etgar Keret will discuss selections from his vast body of short stories, focusing on “dark matter”: the absurdist humor and surreal thematic elements found in the extraordinary and mundane elements of daily life.  He will be joined in conversation by the local New York Times-bestselling author, Ayelet Waldman, in an exploration of his work, and how it reflects and refracts the world we currently inhabit.

 A book signing will follow the program. A selection of Keret’s books will be available for sale.

Underwritten by Brian and Caroline Lurie with support from the Haas Senior Fund, Larry and Deborah Stadtner and The Peleh Fund, in association with Congregation Rodef Sholom.


“If Kafka has the power to smash through the frozen sea of our souls, Keret perhaps can infiltrate our gray matter, adding synapses where none existed before.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Internationally acclaimed for his short stories, Etgar Keret is hailed as the voice of young Israel and is one of its most radical and extraordinary writers. Rarely extending beyond three or four pages, Keret’s stories fuse the banal with the surreal, and offer a window on a surreal world that is both dark and comic. Keret’s books are bestsellers in Israel and have been published in over thirty languages. His books include The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God, Missing Kissinger, The Nimrod flipout, The Girl on the Fridge, and Suddenly a Knock on the Door, which became an instant #1 bestseller in Israel. Keret is also the author of a memoir, The Seven Good Years, in which he contemplates moments of his life against a backdrop of constant conflict, casting an absurd light on both the monumental and mundane.

Keret has received the Book Publishers Association`s Platinum Prize several times, the Chevalier medallion of France’s Order of Arts and Letters, and has been awarded the Prime Minister`s Prize and the Ministry of Culture`s Cinema Prize. More than forty short movies have been based on his stories, one of which won the American MTV Prize (1998). Keret’s stories have even inspired Polish architect Jakub Szczesny to build in Warsaw the narrowest house in the world (38 inches wide). The house was named after Keret, who will be using the house for several years.

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 based on Keret’s story Kneller’s Happy Campers. 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. Keret currently teaches at Ben Guryon University.


Ayelet Waldman is the author of A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, the novels Love and TreasureRed Hook RoadLove and Other Impossible Pursuits, and Daughter’s Keeper, as well as of the essay collection Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace and the Mommy-Track Mystery series. She is the editor of Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women’s Prisons and of the forthcoming Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation. She was a Federal public defender and an adjunct professor at the UC Berkeley law school where she developed and taught a course on the legal implications of the War on Drugs. She lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband, Michael Chabon, and their four children.

Advance Price:

$15 Members / $20 Public / $10 Kids (17 & Under)

Day-of Price: $25 (Members & Public)


May 7, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0
$10 – $25
Event Category:


Center for Jewish Peoplehood
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Osher Marin JCC
200 North San Pedro Road
San Rafael, CA 94903 United States
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(415) 444-8000
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