A young woman writes letters to the despot ruling her country. At first she protests because her husband has gone to fight in an unexplained, distant war, but from letter to letter she becomes obsessed with hatred for the tyrant. Eventually, her image of him as a dreadful worm invading her body drives her mad. When her husband, who adored the ruler, returns from the war crippled, she is scarcely aware of him. In the final scene she kills him to clear the path for her satanic lover.
This is a brilliant allegorical exposition of the way tyranny lowers the human spirit, how people plainly reject tyranny, yet passionately desire it.
Author Yoram Kaniuk
This is both an allegory about totalitarian rule, and a story of burgeoning feminist awareness.... Original, interesting and extremely readable.
Critic Hedda Bosches
This book reaches deep. [It is] the protest of an individual consciousness against totalitarianism, or a spiritual battle between love and politics.