How to Explode Slowly: Etgar Keret, Jessica Laser & Dan Poppick

November 14th, 2019

 From the depths of Moby Dick to the light of something like poetry in author Etgar Keret’s new collection, Fly Already, we follow a line (or is it a fuse?) running between the past and present of contemporary literature on this episode of Open Stacks, featuring Etgar Keret, Jessica Laser, and Daniel Poppick.

Last year, our staff set sail on a Moby Dick reading group, and on this week's episode, you'll hear from a few of its veteran (crew?) members, Jeff Deutsch, Alena Jones, Adam Sonderberg, and Bryce Lucas. 

In a similar vein to Melville's wisdom, “I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing," says Sapir Prize-winning short fiction writer Etgar Keret. "Life is a very humiliating experience.” Keret and Colin discuss his new short fiction collection, Fly Already, as well as that which influenced his work––from Franz Kafka, Haruki Murakami, and Raymond Carver; writers through which he invites us to laugh and find humor, as opposed or perhaps in addition to anxiety and uncertainty. 

It’s a long and winding road on this week’s Front Table from idea to book, career, and other forms of written livelihood. Find your way and all the books discussed below.

On October 3rd of this year, Jessica Laser (left) and Daniel Poppick (right) joined us at the Co-op for a vibrant poetry reading and discussion of their newest collections, Sergei Kuzmich from All Sides and Fear of Description, respectively. Tune in for a reading of excepts from each work, specifically "Paradise Lost" and "View of Vesuvius," as well as a conversation meditating on the value and definition of prose poetry. 

What's the last book that made you laugh? Write to us with that or any other comments or questions at

Below, you can find all the books we featured in this episode. Explore our Front Table no matter where you are by subscribing to our weekly email newsletter and by checking out

This episode was produced by Colin McDonald, Veronica Karlin, and Jackson Roach, and features music by Kevin MacLeod, Gallery Six, Cursor Miner, Daniel Birch, and Andrei Pohorelsky. Thanks to Bryce Lucas, Adam Sonderberg, Alena Jones and Jeff Deutsch, as well as our guests from California to the New York Island and beyond, Etgar Keret, Daniel Poppick, and Jessica Laser.