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Lily la Tigresse

Alona Kimhi
There are strange happenings in this novel, which is both fantastic and comic, yet contains serious feminist messages. Lily is a young woman who lives in Tel Aviv, and weighs more than 100 kilograms. Nevertheless, she proud of her body. She pampers it and prepares it for the great love of her life who, she believes, is due to arrive at any moment. She works as a dental hygienist for a dentist, who ostensibly exploits her sexually, but Lily knows that she is the stronger of the two and that he is entirely under her thumb. She is an independent woman who lives alone, unlike her good friend, Ninosh, who is in thrall to Leon, a rich Jew from Miami. Leon, who made his fortune from cellulite-dissolving panties for women, is a jealous tyrant who abuses Ninosh and beats her. The third female figure in the story is Michaela, a rough taxi driver, warmhearted and "masculine" in character, who is divorced with five children. Lily finds out that a Japanese man who relieved her of her virginity when she was eighteen is staying in a luxury Tel Aviv hotel. She feels she must see him, and Michaela drives her to the hotel. The handsome and unforgettable Taro is now in charge of the jungle beasts in a circus, and when he strips off his underpants, Lily makes an even more astonishing discovery: Taro has undergone a sex-change operation, and is proud of his ability to create and shape his body at will. As a parting gift, he gives Lily a tiger cub, and the three women raise it devotedly. However, Taro gives Lily something else as well: she metamorphoses into a tigress - a strong, limber, and liberated animal. Lily takes revenge on both the dentist and Leon, whom she tears to pieces, and now nothing is left for her to do but to cut herself off completely from human company. The loyal Michaela drives her to the desert.


Lily la Tigresse was a bestseller in France!

A rich, fantastic novel… With desperate humor and an almost lyrical sensuality, Alona Kimhi plunges us back into the world of primal womanhood… a world of sublime creatures floundering – still today – between husband, children and work. 
Le Monde des livres

An absolute feast of fantasy, daring and exuberance… enjoyable from beginning to end! 
Madame Figaro 

A luminous novel... a consciously, deeply feminist novel.
l'Unita

Alona Kimhi's witty language and her fine sensitivity for the grotesque are absolutely wonderful… as is her insight into the inadequacy of human beings.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 

 

Kimhi Lily La Tigresse
Title Lily la Tigresse
Author’s Last Name Kimhi
Author's First Name Alona
Language(s) English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2004
No. Pages 305 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Lily la Tigresse
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

German: Munich, Carl Hanser, 2006; audio abrid. ed.: Hamburg, Hörbuch, 2006
French: Paris, Gallimard, 2006; pback: Folio, 2007
Italian: Milan, Ugo Guanda, 2007
Portuguese: Porto, Asa, 2009
English: Champaign, IL, Dalkey Archive, 2013

Berlin Diary (novella)
French: Paris, Gallimard/Folio, 2011

Selected Stories
Estonian: Talinn, Loomingu Raamatukogu, 2010

 
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