"I just got here an hour ago, all excited, with my wife about to give birth. And now I`m sitting in the hallway feeling glum. Everyone has gone to treat the people injured in the terrorist attack. My wife`s contractions have slowed down, too. Probably even the baby feels this whole getting-born thing isn't that urgent anymore."
For six and a half years Etgar Keret has recorded his personal life, beginning with the birth of his first child and ending with his father's death.
But Keret's sad-funny pieces tell much more than the story of his family and his career. With an ex-settler, ultra-Orthodox sister who has eleven children and eight grandchildren; a peacenik, marijuana-legalizing brother and Holocaust-survivor parents, his personal story seems to tell the story of an entire society.
After all, when your child is born on the same day as a suicide bombing; when a chat among 3-year-old kids’ parents involves questions like "Will your son join the army when he’s eighteen?" and an old school friend is scared that his model Eifel tower‒made of matchsticks‒will be ruined by Scud missiles, the personal and the national are hard to distinguish, especially in this strange part of the world.
WINNER OF THE 2016 ADEI-WIZO PRIZE FOR JEWISH LITERATURE
The love for his child, mutual respect in marriage,
solidarity towards others and comprehension of diversity inspire the stories of
the book, providing a really good advice for coexistence.
Adei-Wizo Prize Jury Citation
Through Keret’s eyes the world is a more complex and humorous
place, in which the game Angry Birds is a socially acceptable outlet for
terrorist impulses, and “You’ll never find a taxi,” shouted in a noisy night
club, becomes “Kiss me.”
The New Yorker
Etgar Keret's memoir opens an odd, alluring
window into life in Israel.
Keret's new work focuses on seemingly
unremarkable, slightly peculiar interactions in contemporary Israel, just with
Keret himself at the center of them … But nothing is as simple as it seems in
Keret's world, fictional or not. The 47-year-old Tel Aviv-based writer is known
for his absurdist, playful perspective and dark humor, which he uses to get his
readers to reflect on life's big issues without hitting them over the head with
them. If you scratch beneath the surface of the would-be banal instances in his
memoir, the Suddenly, A Knock At The Door author says a lot about
family, fatherhood and the moral ambiguity of war.
Keret’s deadpan tales, collected in such books
as Suddenly, A Knock At The Door (2012) and The Girl on the Fridge (2008), often blur the line between the real and the surreal … This
unusual perspective makes Keret’s new autobiography especially intriguing.
The Washington Post
… The book offers a virtuosic display of craft,
including a form (brief, frequently humorous vignettes) and tone (an ironic
take on the contradictions of Israeli society) that provide a fine introduction
to Keret's sensibility
An insightful, comical and heartfelt account of seven
good years in the life of Etgar Keret … a brilliant and bizarre trip through
the years with one of the most original writers at work today
Keret calls it a memoir but it's really a TADRIS — a time machine that
does two kinds of magic at once. First, it takes us back through seven years of
Keret's history, showing us the world (its beauty, madness, and inescapable
strangeness) through his sharp and sympathetic observations. It's not an
overtly political book, but one defined by violence, bookended by life and
death…. Time goes. Babies are born and old men die and all we can hope for is
to gather some beautiful, small stories to make sense of where we've come from
and where we're going.
Keret’s voice, translated seamlessly from the original
Hebrew, is conversational, unpretentious, and often hilarious. It is easy to
get so caught up in his anecdotes that their incisive depth sneaks up on you
and takes you by surprise
Jewish Book Council
Comic, surreal and disorientating… Close in spirit to Woody Allen, these 36 pin-sharp snapshots of life on the permanent knife-edge of what Israelis call hamatzav – “the situation” – temper nervous comedy with aching tenderness.
Etgar Keret step into the footsteps of
Chekhov. His short stories touch you right away.****
clean-cut, humorous stories (…) Bravo! Required reading for fans of the Coen brothers, but also for those who want
emotion does this book wonders. ****
Kerets stories do something, they touch you in a way, they immediately get
under your skin (…) what matters is the story itself, the vitality of telling
stories, a few tingling pages long. That is Kerets strength.
He knows how to connect events in his
daily life with social developments, and his constant traveling as an
internationally successful writer makes him not reminisce about the
relationship between Israel and the rest of the world, but also about his own
origins (…) a truly great writer. ****’
‘Keret creates a fascinating and humorous
image of contemporary Israel. The stories aren’t solely autobiographical, for
that Keret’s imagination is far too big.
Seven good years is not only
fascinating, the subtle humor worked compelling and provides very recognizable
Laughing on a powder
keg…Keret transforms his world into exciting theater.. Seven years of happiness (all relative) for the
author, and 200 pages of delight for his readers… A gem of humor, self-irony,
intelligence and subtlety.
One of the reasons that
reading The Seven Good Years is
enjoyable is that Etgar Keret has a remarkable ability to be liked… Keret has
written here warm little tales that are wise and amusing … His memoir is
stylized and light-handed … He charmingly packages the burdens of being Israeli
for an audience that isn’t very familiar with them … Keret is our dream
ambassador: clever, funny, human, self-deprecatingly humorous.