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The Swamp Queen Does the Tango

Tsruya Lahav
Seven days after her death, Halina Rozenstein, a beautiful old seamstress from a poor town, appears at the Santiago Hotel, across from the Haifa port. In this deserted hotel, we find the owner, Leonardo Rozenstein, a grumpy old man who is both her ex-husband and the love of her life. He lives with his old friend Fischel Grosmeyer, an enthusiastic Marxist and arms dealer who owns a thriving port casino. Fischel is the third side in this elderly love triangle: Halina is his unrequited love.
Halina`s grandchildren, Baruch and Ella, arrive at the hotel. They have never laid eyes on their grandfather, Leonardo, but Halina made them swear that they would meet him after her death. Baruch cuts out of the army and Ella leaves the kibbutz, where she is studying as a non-resident student. Neither of them have had a simple childhood. Their mother, Halina`s daughter, abandoned them when they were small, and it fell to their grandmother to raise them. Now, Baruch and Ella are planning to escape to Cyprus by ship, but rapidly unfolding events keep them at the hotel. The deceased Halina keeps on appearing, as real as when she was alive. Traps are set as the characters struggle for survival; secrets are revealed, and prying questions are answered: Is Leonardo really Baruch`s and Ella`s grandfather? Why did their mother abandon them? Who will Baruch murder? Who does Ella betray? And how does Fischel cast his net of revenge? With precise doses of emotion, humor, and creativity, Tsruya Lahav tells a story of the dead and the living, of love without boundaries and of chronic wandering as part of the human condition.

Partial English translation available (for publishers only)

Lahav The Swamp Queen Does the Tango
Title The Swamp Queen Does the Tango
Author’s Last Name Lahav
Author's First Name Tsruya
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2004
No. Pages 277 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Malkat Ha-Bitzot Rokedet Tango
Representation Represented by ITHL


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