Israeli author charms crowd at Sydney event

March 4, 2016 by Sharon Berger
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Master Israeli storyteller Etgar Keret had the capacity crowd at Bondi Pavilion on the edge of their seats at  his only Sydney event as a guest of the Sydney Jewish Writers Festival.

Michaela Kalowski interviews Etgar Keret Photo: Ben Apfelbaum/J-Wire

Michaela Kalowski interviews Etgar Keret Photo: Ben Apfelbaum/J-Wire

The acclaimed author entertained the audience with tales of parenthood, religion, life in Israel and much more.

With the skilful moderating abilities of ABC producer Michaela Kalowski he explained how his parents, Holocaust survivors, showered him in unconditional love. Although he thought his life was normal it was only much later in life that he realised staying home from school when it rained and napping with his father as an adult were not common. His ability to take small examples of everyday life and bring out both the humour as well as the larger significance in the incidents enraptured and entertained the crowd.

They particularly enjoyed the short excerpts he read from both his recent memoir The Seven Good Years and his fictional short stories Suddenly

Etgar Keret reads from one of his books Photo: Ben Apfelbaum/J-Wire

Etgar Keret reads from one of his books Photo: Ben Apfelbaum/J-Wire

A Knock On The Door. The memoir begins with the birth of his son Lev and the ends with the death of his father. Family is a major theme throughout Keret’s works and was evident during the evening’s talk. Keret was joined by his wife, Israeli filmmaker Shira Gefen and his son on his trip to Australia and New Zealand which included appearances at the Adelaide Festival.

Keret took over an hour to not only sign copies of his book but also answer questions and pose for photos with patient fans after the event.

His visit was made possible by support from the Israeli embassy in Australia. The event was part of the Spectrum Now festival and was co-hosted by Waverley Council.

The SJWF will be holding an additional event with Eva Clarke on Thursday 7 April at 2pm at Waverley Library. Clarke was born in a Nazi death camp and is part of the astounding story told by journalist Wendy Holden in her bestselling book, Born Survivors.

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