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Odelia’s Black Dress

Alon Altaras
The obsessive love affair between Amir and Odelia reads like a dark suspense novel, combining eroticism with madness and death. Amir, a divorced, 35-year-old lecturer at Tel Aviv University whose specialty is the history of Italian education, meets 24-year-old Odelia, who needs his help writing a thesis on poetic cities in literature, such as Tel Aviv and Venice. Amir soon becomes her lover and then her official partner, even though, on their first evening together, he discovers that she lies. For Amir, Odelia is an enigma; he wonders where she disappears to at night and cannot tell when she is speaking the truth and when she is lying. Her deceptive dark charms and her eroticism ensnare Amir in the bonds of passion, and he is also attracted to her family pathology. Indeed, Odelia comes from a family in which madness lurks: her younger brother committed suicide; her father and older brother are addicted to bizarre collections.
Amir is not an innocent who has fallen into the trap of a nymphomaniac. He enjoys the destructive relationship with Odelia and derives sadistic pleasure from the emotional pain he inflicts on her. The answer to the question "Which one of them is mad?" is not clearcut. And the perverse relationship comes to its inevitable end. Amir succeeds in freeing himself from Odelia`s web, leaving her weak, lost and hopeless. In Venice, the city where she experienced her greatest pleasure with Amir, she drowns herself, dressed in her black dress, true to the finale of an Italian opera.

Odelia`s Black Dress
Title Odelia`s Black Dress
Author’s Last Name Altaras
Author's First Name Alon
Language(s) Hebrew, Italian
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2002
No. Pages 203 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Simla Ha-Shchora shel Odelia
Representation Represented by ITHL


Italian: Rome, Voland, 2005
Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

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