In Israel, Literary Authors Report the News


Last Wednesday, in honor of Hebrew Book Week, the Israeli daily Haaretz sent its journalists home one day and brought in a bunch of literary authors to report the news. Apparently, it worked brilliantly. The weather report was a poem about summer. The stock summary read, “Everything’s okay. The economists went to their homes, the laundry is drying on the lines, dinners are waiting in place.” An author living with cancer visited a cancer ward, “A woman walking with a cane brings her partner a cup of coffee with a trembling hand. The looks they exchange are sexier than any performance by Madonna and cost a good deal less.” 

The only problem was voiced by one of the journalists, “For them … there is a tendency to elaborate.” 

Dave Eggers would approve.

Seth Fischer’s writing has twice been listed as notable in The Best American Essays and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize by several publications, including Guernica. He was the founding Sunday editor at The Rumpus and is the current nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. He is a Dornsife PhD Fellow at USC and been awarded fellowships and residencies by Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, Ragdale, and elsewhere, and he teaches at the UCLA-Extension Writer’s Program and Antioch University, where he received his MFA. More from this author →