Israeli writer Etgar Keret has become well known for his very dark and surreal stories dealing with what often characterizes life in Israel – where I lived for many years – from terror attacks to military service. His is a bizarre humour, which is what is often needed to cope when living in strange times and violent, unstable situations. This story, one of his most anthologized, is ostensibly about a marriage, about loss of love, and what happens when everything is turned upside down.
But, like all the stories here, and perhaps like the majority of stories we tell and are told, it’s really about the mystery of The Other – how we have so very little understanding of what goes on in our own heads let alone another person’s. Isn’t it a miracle when we manage to connect at all, those crazy moments where you and I are right there, laughing at the same thing, looking directly at each other, seeing each other for the first time? Isn’t it, though.
In Suddenly, A Knock on the Door (Chatto & Windus, 2012) and available to read online here