Montefiore and Keret for Writers’ Festival special event

February 17, 2016 by Michael Misrachi
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Internationally acclaimed and bestselling authors, Simon Sebag Montefiore and Etgar Keret, will appear at upcoming special events organised by the Sydney Jewish Writers Festival.

Simon Sebag Montefiore

Simon Sebag Montefiore

Montefiore is a leading historian and sought-after speaker whose controversial and colourful research focuses on leadership, revolution and empire, Russia and the Middle East.

He is best known for his bestselling Jerusalem: the Biography which Bill Clinton named his book of the year and which Henry Kissinger described as “magnificent… fascinating… a treasure-trove.”

The-RomaovsChronicling Jerusalem’s 3,000 year history, Montefiore explores how a small, remote town become the Holy City, the ‘centre of the world’ and a key to peace in the Middle East. He was one of the first to predict the course of the Arab Spring.

In his only Sydney event about this landmark book, Montefiore will delve into both the history and contemporary politics of Jerusalem and the Middle East more broadly. He will speak at Waverley Library on Thursday, 25 February, in conversation with Joanna Kalowski.

Montefiore will also discuss the contemporary resonances of his latest book, The Romanovs, in a public lecture on Tuesday 23 February at Waverley Library. He will explore how today’s Kremlin compares to Imperial and Stalinist Russia, and how this impacts global politics.

A study of personality and power from Ivan the Terrible to Peter the Great and President Putin, the book draws on the history of twenty tsars and tsarinas to reflect on the exceptional nature of Russia – then and now.

Since Time Magazine named Putin Person of the Year in 2007, his power and influence have only increased, making him one of the most interesting leaders in the world today, according to Montefiore.

Etgar Keret

Etgar Keret

Master storyteller Etgar Keret, one of the most important voices in contemporary Israeli literature, will be appearing exclusively to the Sydney Jewish Writers Festival at the Bondi Pavilion on 2 March. He will be in conversation with ABC producer Michaela Kalowski.

He will talk about his new book, The Seven Good Years, a memoir chronicling the period from his son’s birth, which took place during a terrorist attack, until his father’s death.

Keret has a unique ability to blend humour and tragedy, cynicism and empathy, and is best known for his short story collections, the most recent of which is Suddenly, A Knock At The Door.

Clive James describes him as “One of the most important writers alive”, and Salman Rushdie calls him “A brilliant writer…The voice of the next generation.”

The-Seven-Good-Years---ScribeIn his playful yet profound way, Keret grapples with everything from the threat of a nuclear Iran to arguing with Israeli taxi drivers. Many of his stories focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but in an incredibly personal and poignant way.

“We are thrilled to be hosting such outstanding authors”, Festival Director Michael Misrachi said. “Tickets are selling fast for all three events and, as has happened in the past with other major international guests we have presented, we expect these to sell out,” he added.

Following this series of special events, the Sydney Jewish Writers Festival will take place on 27-28 August.

For more information visit www.sjwf.org.au.

To book for Etgar Keret visit www.trybooking.com/KGNW

To book for Simon Sebag Montefiore visit www.trybooking.com/JZMK

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