A book by Israeli author Etgar Keret, "Suddenly, a Knock on the Door," is on the Internet bookseller Amazon's list of the best books of the year. Keret's volume of stories also appears on the Huffington Post website's selection of the best books of 2012.
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Among the other writers on the two lists are Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Alice Munro, Michael Chabon, Martin Amis and Jo Nesbo. Also appearing are Hilary Mantel, Christopher Hitchens, Jonathan Franzen, Junot Diaz and Nathan Englander. Englander also translated some of the stories from Hebrew to English in "Suddenly, a Knock on the Door," a book Huffington Post said provided an amusing look at the surrealism in reality.
The book was initially published in Hebrew in 2010 by Zmora Bitan. It appeared this year in English to great acclaim. A New York Times reviewer once called Keret a "genius" and Salman Rushdie said the Israeli was "completely unlike any writer I know. The voice of the next generation."
Last month Keret dedicated what has been called the narrowest house in the world in Warsaw, a project of Polish architect Jakob Szczensy. The house on the edge of the site of the Warsaw Ghetto is 92 centimeters wide. Keret was enlisted for the project and the structure has been named the Keret House. The author told Haaretz the dimensions of the house reflect the dimensions of his short stories and the fact that his parents were born in Poland and left the country after World War II. During the war, Keret's mother reportedly smuggled bread past a checkpoint near what is now the location of the house. He said he is in effect renewing his connection to Poland through his readers in the country. For his part, Szczensy said the house is dedicated to Keret as an observer of Polish culture.