Israeli Author Etgar Keret to Publish Latest Book in Farsi

Celebrated author hopes the 'almost unprecedented' translation will build understanding between Israel and Iran.

Kobi Kalmanovitz‬

Israeli author Etgar Keret's latest book 'The Seven Good Years' will reportedly be translated into Farsi. The celebrated author told the Guardian that he hopes 'The Seven Good Years,' a collection or personal essays, will help Iranians "to see the Israeli people as flawed human entities and not just as mortal enemies,” adding that there was “something beautiful” about the fact that “I can’t go [to Iran], but my stories can.”

The book has been translated by Afghani writer Aziz Hakimi, who hopes to translate more of Keret's work. He estimates that 4,000 of the books will sell online, with another 1,000 being sold through a Kabul publisher. Due to government restrictions, the book of essays cannot be published in Iran, or even legally sold.

"I’ve grown up in Iran where there is a lot of propaganda against the Israeli state and a general ban of any sort of literature which challenges the official views on this matter,” said Hakimi. “At a time when Iran’s leader promises Israel will cease to exist in 25 years, [these] wise, witty stories about family and life in Israel are a vital life line between the two countries. I am confident that [these] stories can change the views of Iranians (and Afghans) about people of Israel.”

“Any Iranian writers whose works don’t get the approval from the government prefer to publish them in Afghanistan. Such books are then smuggled into Iran and distributed through clandestine networks,” Hakimi added.

“Of course Iranian authorities have in many cases warned against selling unapproved books and in quite a few cases they have arrested people or plumped bookshops for selling such books. [But] I’m sure that Etgar’s book will find its way into Iranians’ homes.”

Keret has achieved international acclaim for his unique brand of short stories, including having his works translated into 37 other languages. He received the 2010 Chevalier Medallion of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

The cover of Etgar Keret's new book.