Mickey is an advertising copywriter who studied art as a young man and dreamt of a career in art. He is unhappily married to a bitter woman. Unable to bear children and having had a mastectomy, she has settled for managing a gallery. She is aware of Mickey's philandering, but is reconciled to her fate. Mickey has a sharp sense of his life as a series of missed opportunities, which his sense of irony enables him to see with amused detachment.
But one day, an adventure presents itself: sitting in a hotel lobby, he sees an attractive young waitress looking for a Mr. Sapiro. He decides to assume the identity of Sapiro, a notorious art forger thought to have died in a plane crash in the U.S., and as Sapiro he undertakes to copy a painting by a forgotten Renaissance artist, Johannes Gumpp. The client is an art aficionado who suffers from cancer and has a young wife, Leora. Thus, in a picturesque Italian fishing village, between vain attempts to copy Gumpp, Mickey carries on a sizzling affair with Leora as her husband lies dying in the next room. Luckily for him, the husband passes away before the deception is discovered. At this point, however, Leora informs him that she is pregnant.
The plot is at times comic, at times macabre, since Mickey is a brilliant intellectual who can laugh at life`s most confusing situations. In fact, the plot plays out inside his mind as he sits in front of a large mirror in the hotel lobby. Over and over again he reruns the events of his life - the past happy days with his wife, and the possibilities of life under an assumed identity. The result is a sophisticated novel where the boundary between imagination and reality is at its most elusive.
|Author’s Last Name|| ||Barbash|
|Author's First Name|| ||Benny|
|Language(s)|| ||Hebrew, German, French|
|Publisher (Hebrew)|| ||Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah|
|Year of Publication (Hebrew)|| ||2003|
|No. Pages|| ||214 pp.|
|Book title - Hebrew (phonetic)|| ||Hiluch Chozer|
|Representation|| ||Represented by ITHL|
German: Berlin, Berlin Verlag, 2005; pback: Berlin, Berliner Taschenbuch, 2007
French (Monsieur Sapiro): Paris, Zulma, 2012; pback: Paris, Points, 2016