Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.
Ira talks to author Etgar Keret about his mother, Orna, and his mother’s stories. He tells a story about a dangerous encounter his mother had at the beginning of World War Two as an example. Etgar explains why writing about his mother has always been so difficult for him, and how it is that he was finally able to do it.
Most of Etgar's stories about his mom on this week's show were written for an exhibition about her called "Inside Out" at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. It runs until March 19, 2023. Etgar emails a free short story to subscribers every week in his newsletter.
Etgar’s mother tells a story about her father and her leaving the Jewish ghetto without their yellow stars in order to get bread. (3 minutes)
Etgar asks his mother why she only ever strokes his face with the back of her hand. She explains that in the orphanage where she grew up, she used the front of her hand to hide a razor for protection. (2 minutes)
Etgar tells Ira about his mother’s experience living through the Holocaust and why she didn’t like being defined by it. He goes on to tell a story about his mother as a child and the advice her father gave her. (5 minutes)
Etgar describes his mother in her element: running a basement fabric shop and giving customers blunt advice on their wardrobe choices. (2 minutes)
Etgar and his wife encounter some confusion when a family tradition of his does not hold true for her or anyone else. (2 minutes)
Etgar’s mother confronts his school bully and tells this bully something he’ll never forget. (10 minutes)
Ira points out Etgar’s mom is always the hero in these stories. Etgar explains why he sees her this way. (3 minutes)
Etgar tells the story of how his parents met. (2 minutes)
When Etgar becomes a vegetarian his mother concocts a clever way to get him protein, inventing a recipe for a meat substitute they call “the stuff.” Kids all over the neighborhood want to try it. (5 minutes)
Etgar tells Ira about a time when Etgar’s mother asked him to do her a favor that he just had to refuse. (3 minutes)
Etgar’s mother tells the story of losing her mother and baby brother in the war. (3 minutes)