When Novelists Report

In the name of experimentation…send out novelists to report the news!

Well, no, actually, it was in honor of Israel’s annual Hebrew Book Week that Haaretz, the Israeli daily, tasked thirty-one of the country’s best novelists and poets to cover the news on June 10.

Here’s how Avri Herling, a children’s book author, laid out the stock market summary:

Everything’s okay. Everything’s like usual. Yesterday trading ended. Everything’s okay. The economists went to their homes, the laundry is drying on the lines, dinners are waiting in place… Dow Jones traded steadily and closed with 8,761 points, Nasdaq added 0.9% to a level of 1,860 points…. The guy from the shakshuka [an Israeli egg-and-tomato dish] shop raised his prices again.

The weather report, from poet Roni Somek: “Summer is the pencil/that is least sharp/in the seasons’ pencil case.”

Writer Daniel Estrin comments, “News junkies might call this a postmodern farce, but considering that the stock market won’t be soaring anytime soon, and that ‘hot’ is really the only weather forecast there is during Israeli summers, who’s to say these articles aren’t factual?” The Forward has more.

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Jane Kim is a writer in New York.