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Plastered Walls

“Sixty-nine. A few years ago, people started to get up for me on the bus from time to time. I used to respond defiantly, ‘Do I really look so old to you?’ Recently, what had been an occasional offer of a seat has become a routine matter. I just have to poke my head in at the door, and a polite young man or woman leaps up, as if I’m an emergency case. I usually refuse the offer with cold, ungrateful courtesy.”

The characters in all three stories of Plastered Walls struggle to live the lives they deserve, in the face of an arbitrary fate and a world without compassion. In Hidden Memory a young woman is trying to free herself of the devastating aftereffects of trauma. In Happy Birthday, a woman who can’t to come terms with getting old celebrates her 69th in a surprising way. And in the eponymous novella, Plastered Walls, an elderly man desperately seeks the love of a female relative, but has to settle for a few crumbs of her attention.

In this collection, Esty G. Hayim has reached a linguistic and psychological peak. She touches upon the finest and most exposed veins of her characters, and offers readers surprising views of societal phenomena like refugee life, aging and belonging. Although at times her depictions are full of menace and sorrow, these are toned down by an ironic humor that produces smiles, and even laughter.

Title Plastered Walls
Writer's Last Name G. Hayim
Writer's First Name Esty
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Achuzat Bayit
No. Pages 280pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Sid
  • “The impactful novellas by Esty G. Hayim deal with various aspects of womanhood. Even when they are victims, the heroines take responsibility for their lives and are triumphant.”

  • “The prose of Esty G. Hayim reminded me why I love reading as much as I do.”