Etgar Keret doesn’t avoid a punch line. The fiction writer and This American Life regular tackles Big Important Subjects in his work—death, family, war, etc.—but he does so in a way that’s not, well, a bummer. The characters that populate his latest, quick-reading collection, Fly Already, include a circus-cage cleaner, a cafeteria worker, and an angel left to tend heaven after God dies. By embracing the comic and the absurd, Keret achieves something rare among modern short-story writers: He’s actually worth reading. —J.R. Sullivan
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