Small Change by Yehudit Hendel, translated by Dalya Bilu, Barbara Harshav, and Marsha Pomerantz (Brandeis University Press, 2002).
In this delicately structured and psychologically rigorous short story collection, Yehudit Hendel maps out a shadow land between life and death, the mundane and the fantastic. These eight stories, which should be read as a cycle, offer variations on the themes of loneliness, family ties, obsession, and regret in contemporary Israel.
The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God & Other Stories by Etgar Keret, translated by Miriam Schlesinger (Toby Press, 2004).
Brief, intense, painfully funny, and shockingly honest, Etgar Keret’s stories are snapshots that illuminate with intelligence and wit the hidden truths of life. As with the best writers of fiction, hilarity and anguish are the twin pillars of his work. Keret covers a remarkable emotional and narrative terrain—from a father’s first lesson to his boy to a standoff between soldiers caught up in the Middle East conflict to a slice of life where nothing much happens.
The Nimrod Flipout by Etgar Keret, translated by Miriam Schlesinger and Sondra Silverston (FSG, 2006).
Already featured on This American Life and Selected Shorts and in Zoetrope: All Story and L.A. Weekly, these short stories include a man who finds equal pleasure in his beautiful girlfriend and the fat, soccer-loving lout she turns into after dark; shrinking parents; a case of impotence cured by a pet terrier; and a pessimistic Middle Eastern talking fish. A bestseller in Israel, The Nimrod Flipout is an extraordinary collection from the preeminent Israeli writer of his generation.
Missing Kissinger by Etgar Keret, translated by Miriam Schlesinger and Sondra Silverston (Chatto Windus, 2007).
A magician tries to pull a rabbit out of a hat, but takes out only its head; a guy brings a girl home with him for the first time only to find that his best friend has pissed on his doorstep; a young man graduates from Magician School but soon discovers that he can’t do everything; two drunk students do battle with a pavement and win; someone has a mother and a girlfriend who hate each other’s guts, and they both demand that he gives them the other one’s heart… many of the characters in these stories are waiting for something to change their lives, many of them can’t quite reach ultimate happiness, some of them are sick, some are abandoned, and most have trouble communicating. The unexpected can, and usual does, happen.
The Girl on the Fridge by Etgar Keret, translated by Miriam Schlesinger and Sondra Silverston (FSG, 2008).
A birthday-party magician whose hat tricks end in horror and gore; a girl parented by a major household appliance; the possessor of the lowest IQ in the Mossad—such are the denizens of Etgar Keret’s dark and fertile mind. The Girl on the Fridge contains the best of Keret’s first collections, the ones that made him a household name in Israel and the major discovery of this last decade.
The Love Machine and Other Contraptions by Nir Yaniv, various translators (infinity plus, 2012).
“The following stories represent some of Nir Yaniv’s best work over the last decade or so. Never a prolific writer, he is nevertheless, at his best, a challenging, funny, deeply committed writer, always experimenting, always reinventing, always exploring. I hope you enjoy this collection as much as I did.”- Lavie Tidhar, 2012
Suddenly a Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret, translated by Miriam Shlesinger, Sondra Silverston and Nathan Englander (Vintage, 2012).
A man barges into a writer’s house and, holding a gun to his head, demands that he tell him a story, something to take him away from the real world. A pathological liar discovers one day that all the lies he tells come true. A young woman finds a zip in her boyfriend’s mouth, and when she opens it he unfolds to reveal a completely different man inside. Suddenly, a Knock on the Door is at once Keret’s most mature and most playful work yet, and establishes him as one of the great international writers of our time.
Fly Already by Etgar Keret, translated by Sondra Silverston, Nathan Englander, Jessica Cohen, Miriam Shlesinger, and Yardenne Greenspan (Riverhead, 2019).