Subscribe to Alphabet Soup, Keret's newsletter (powered by Substack): Fiction, non-fiction, thoughts, writing tips and anything else that would make an easily influenced curious person double click.

“I’ve been looking at [Keret’s] Substack and it’s so witty and enjoyable, and he’s clearly having a wonderful time doing it, I thought, ‘maybe I could do that’” — Salman Rushdie, The Guardian

Life: Spoiler Alert

When you’re a kid, people are always asking you questions: Are you tired? What did the teacher say? Who’s your best friend? As an anxious boy, I used to sort the questions into easy ones (“Did you eat the sandwich Mom made you?”) and difficult ones (“When are you going to start packing your own backpack?”). Out of all the questions, the one I considered the most difficult and complicated was, “How’s life?” This might be the place to mention that an average day of my childhood included climbing a tree, finding a treasure, getting slapped by my neighbor Yossi, and fighting and making up with Anat at least three times. Over the years, I’ve learned that instead of trying to quantify the sum total happiness of all the events that make up my day so that I can provide a scientifically accurate answer, I can always get away with “Fine, thanks!” Because even if that answer is never really, one hundred percent, true, it satisfies the asker and propels you smoothly to the next, easier question. Except that here at Alphabet Soup, we don’t make do with polite and efficient answers. So, “how’s life,” you ask? Here’s my honest answer.

Substack logo Read at Alphabet Soup

Everything, Everywhere, All At Once

In the week of Holocaust remembrance, Yonit Levi of Channel 12 Israel and Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian invite Keret to their Unholy Podcast to reflect on his late mother, a survivor of the Shoah who never wanted that label, and give his take on the political turmoil (that seems to be as surrealistic as the film this episode is named after).

Also: the show's classic chutzpah and mensch awards – and a look at the gap between what Brits say and what they actually mean (also known as: the guide to understanding your British co-host).

Special thanks to Ira Glass and the team of "This American Life" for their assistance in the making of this episode. 


"A Brief History of Us"

An interactive Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere including Director's commentary and Q&A.

More films

Random quote

A conversation is like a tunnel dug under the prison floor that you patiently and painstakingly scoop out with a spoon. It has one purpose: to get you away from where you are right now.

"Car Concentrate"

More stories

The Upgraded Me

In an overwhelming, unpredictable world, our virtual selves offer an appealing existential strategy.

— Illustration: Diego Patiño

More non-fiction

Words Without Borders, 2010

I believe that there is a truth. I believe it is very difficult to articulate that truth. I try to go in that direction, but I don’t pretend I will get there.

More interviews

New York Times, 2012

For Keret, the creative impulse resides not in a conscious devotion to the classic armature of fiction (character, plot, theme, etc.) but in an allegiance to the anarchic instigations of the subconscious. His best stories display a kind of irrepressible dream logic

More reviews