DWS: Etgar Keret and Benjamin Percy
Distinguished Writers Series: Etgar Keret and Benjamin Percy
About the Distinguished Writers Series
The Distinguished Writers Series reminds us that reading, writing, conversation, and laughter are related arts. The Newhouse Center venue is intimate and the format is simple: The writers read, have a conversation with a faculty member, and then engage in an open dialogue with the audience.
Hailed as the voice of young Israel and one of its most radical and extraordinary writers, Etgar Keret is internationally acclaimed for his short stories. Born in Tel Aviv in 1967 to an extremely diverse family, his brother heads an Israeli group that lobbies for the legalization of marijuana, and his sister is an orthodox Jew and the mother of ten children. Keret regards his family as a microcosm of Israel. His book, The Nimrod Flip-Out, (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006), is a collection of 32 short stories that captures the craziness of life in Israel today. Rarely extending beyond three or four pages, these stories fuse the banal with the surreal. Shot through with a dark, tragicomic sensibility and casual, comic-strip violence, he offers a window on a surreal world that is at once funny and sad.
"A brilliant writer...completely unlike any writer I know. The voice of the next generation." —Salman Rushdie
About Benjamin Percy
Benjamin Percy is the author of a novel, The Wilding (Graywolf Press, 2010), winner of the Society of Midland Authors Award for Fiction; and two books of stories, Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf, 2007) and The Language of Elk (Carnegie Mellon, 2006). His second novel, a psychological thriller entitled Red Moon, will be published in 2013 (Hachette). His fiction and nonfiction have been read on National Public Radio, performed at Symphony Space, and published by Esquire, where he is a regular contributor, Men's Journal, Outside, the Paris Review, Tin House, Chicago Tribune, Orion, GQ, Men's Health, The Wall Street Journal, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and many other magazines and journals. His honors include a National Endowment for the Arts, a Whiting Award, the Plimpton Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories. His story "Refresh, Refresh" was adapted into a screenplay by filmmaker James Ponsoldt and a graphic novel (First Second Books, 2009) by Eisner-nominated artist Danica Novgorodoff. He teaches in the MFA program in creative writing and environment at Iowa State University.
"Percy skillfully mines the psychic wildernesses of his characters." — Publishers Weekly