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Partial English translation available (for publishers only)

The Last Painting of Jacopo Massini

Jacopo Massini, a poor and unknown Renaissance artist wants to paint  a fresco in a monastery in Milan. His dream of creating a masterpiece is finally about to come true, but Jacopo is weak and unwell and the inflexible abbot of the monastery tries to tell him what to paint and how… Ezra Na’im, an elderly Jerusalemite, goes shopping in the market and is dazzled by the beauty of a young woman in a red car; what happens between them leaves the old timers with their jaw dropping… Claire, formerly Batya, escapes from her poor childhood neighborhood  in South Tel Aviv and begins a new life in Paris, but one day she longs for her parents, and makes a phone call… A modest old woman, Masleha, joins an outing of her retirement home to the Dead Sea. On the way she gets a stomach ache but is too shy to ask the bus driver to stop, until she can’t hold it any more and, for the first time in her life, she breaks free… Elazar, a divorced man, causes an uproar in his hosts’ home in Germany, involving his ex-wife and his son, an Arab migrant accused of theft and two police officers. Although Elazar wants to come to the Arab’s defense, he can’t find the courage and remains silent…

In vivid language, with enormous imagination and compassion, Zemach spins dramatic stories about small, weak people. They cultivate dreams, they long for a little beauty in their dismal lives, and sometimes they enjoy moments of grace.     
Title The Last Painting of Jacopo Massini
Writer's Last Name Zemach
Writer's First Name Zadok
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
No. Pages 166pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Tziyur Ha-Acharon Shel Jacopo Massini
  • “Marvelous stories – the form, the language, the abundance. Makes us want more.”

    Shmuel Faust, TV Channel 1
  • “ His style is mature, virtuoso, varied ... His characters represent a profuse and rich world … One cannot write about this slim volume, small in quantity but great in quality, without mentioning the beauty of the language … I delighted in Zadok Zemach’s book as if a rare surprise had befallen me, a gift of beauty that should be announced from the rooftops, for which we must express gratitude, and await those to come in its wake. ”

    Author Judith Rotem
  • “Where have you been all this time, Zadok Zemach? … Why have you denied us your acute descriptive power – your colorfulness and your economic exuberance that can only accommodate fiction? … In these stories there is a conscious and original engagement, free of stereotypes on the one hand and from ethnic bellicosity on the other ... At the core of each story there is drama, there is universal human conflict … Zemach [has a] dramatic talent for creating emotional tension and emotional release. ”

    Makor Rishon
  • “Well written … The plots of the stories are totally alive, making the reader feel as if he is inside them. But why waste words: wonderful stories, highly recommended. ”