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Authors: Etgar Keret,Nathan Englander,Miriam Shlesinger,Sondra Silverston

Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories (17 page)

BOOK: Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories
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The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God
The Nimrod Flipout
The Girl on the Fridge
ETGAR KERET
 
SUDDENLY, A KNOCK ON THE DOOR
 
Born in Tel Aviv in 1967, Etgar Keret is the author of six bestselling story collections. His writing has been published in
The New Yorker
,
Harper’s Magazine
,
The New York Times
,
The Paris Review
, and
Zoetrope
, and has frequently been read on
This American Life
.
Jellyfish
, his first movie as a director along with his wife, Shira Geffen, won the Camera d’Or prize for best first feature at Cannes in 2007.
Wristcutters: A Love Story
, a film based on his novella
Kneller’s Happy Campers
, premiered at Sundance in 2006. In 2010 he was named a Chevalier of France’s Order of Arts and Letters.
 
“Keret is a brilliant writer … completely unlike any writer I know. He is the voice of the next generation.”
—Salman Rushdie
 
“Keret can do more with six strange and funny paragraphs than most writers can with 600 pages.”
—Kyle Smith,
People
 
“I read [
The Nimrod Flipout
] 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
 
“Stories that are 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, author of
Life of Pi
 
“[
The Nimrod Flipout
is] the best work of literature to come out of Israel in the last five thousand years—better than Leviticus and nearly as funny. Each page is a cut and polished gem. Do yourself a favor: walk over to the counter and buy this book now.”
—Gary Shteyngart, author of
Super Sad True Love Story
 
“Etgar Keret’s short stories are fierce, funny, full of energy and insight, and at the same time often deep, tragic, and very moving.”
—Amos Oz, author of
A Tale of Love and Darkness
 
“To call Keret apolitical would be to miss a seminal moment in the history of Jewish literature. Indeed, it would be like pigeonholing Isaac Bashevis Singer—at whose knee Keret seems to have learned the art of magic realism, only to use it with more discipline than his master … Keret is a cynic who can’t manage to shake off his hopefulness—the most reliable kind of narrator there is. His true ancestor may not be Singer but Woody Allen, who, in his earlier years, summoned the gods of fantasy to help argue his most famous philosophical insights. And Keret is exhibiting
Annie Hall
–era talent here, churning out gem after gem.”
—Alana Newhouse,
The Washington Post Book World
 
“These stories exude a force and zing that some readers will find life-changing.”
—Jesse Berrett,
San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Bad Karma,” “Big Blue Bus,” “Black and Blue,” “Guava,” “Healthy Start,” “Hemorrhoid,” “Lieland,” “Mourners’ Meal,” “Mystique,” “Parallel Universes,” “The Polite Little Boy,” “Suddenly, a Knock on the Door,” “Unzipping,” and “What Animal Are You?” were translated by Miriam Shlesinger.
 
“Bitch,” “Cheesus Christ,” “Creative Writing,” “A Good One,” “Grab the Cuckoo by the Tail,” “Joseph,” “Not Completely Alone,” “Pick a Color,” “September All Year Long,” “Shut,” “Simyon,” “Snot,” “Surprise Party,” and “What Do We Have in Our Pockets?” were translated by Sondra Silverston.
 
“Ari,” “One Step Beyond,” “Pudding,” “The Story, Victorious,” “Teamwork,” “Upgrade,” and “What, of This Goldfish, Would You Wish?” were translated by Nathan Englander.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
18 West 18th Street, New York 10011
Copyright © 2010 by Etgar Keret
English translation copyright © 2012 by Etgar Keret
 
 
Published by arrangement with the Institute for the Translation
of Hebrew Literature
All rights reserved
Originally published in Hebrew in 2010
by Zmora-Bitan as
Pit’om Defikah Ba-Delet
Published in the United States by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
First American edition, 2012
Designed by Jonathan D. Lippincott
 
 
eISBN 9781466816206
First eBook Edition : March 2012
 
 
Some of these translations previously appeared, in slightly different form, in
The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine
,
McSweeney’s
,
Zoetrope: All Story
,
Tin
House
,
n+1
,
One Story
,
BQMB
magazine,
THINQon
,
The Yearbook of
Comparative Literature
,
Electric Literature
,
Conjunctions
,
Gulf Coast
, and
Pearl Noir!
.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Keret, Etgar, 1967–
[Pit’om defikah ba-delet. English]
Suddenly, a knock on the door / Etgar Keret ; translated from the Hebrew by Miriam Shlesinger, Sondra Silverston, and Nathan Englander.—1st American ed.
p. cm.
ISBN 978-0-374-53333-5 (alk. paper)
1. Keret, Etgar, 1967–—Translations into English. I. Shlesinger, Miriam, 1947–II. Silverston, Sondra. III. Englander, Nathan. IV. Title.
PJ5054.K375 P5813 2012
892.4’36—dc23
2011046350
BOOK: Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories
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