Meir was seven years old when he said goodbye to his father in
Tel Aviv and flew to Manhattan to be with his mother. For years he was sure that his father had died. When he is thirty, his mother suddenly tells him that his father, whom she left, is still alive, is sick and has asked to see his son. Meir is flooded with vague childhood memories that he has repressed for years and that are the core of his personality. Liebrecht`s novel focuses on the relationship of fathers and sons, on childhood trauma, and the connection between life and literary creation.
Meir, a bachelor who fears long-term commitment, is a copy editor at a New York newspaper. He has published a successful first novel, but since then he has been unable to write. He is certain that inspiration will not come from his own empty life. Finding his father, however, enables him to discover the plot of his next novel.
He then flies to Tel Aviv to see his father, in hospital. His conversations with this once-handsome man, now a shadow of his former self, are mixed with memories of the time when they would wander around Tel Aviv, sitting in coffee shops filled with artists and poets, and sleeping in the homes of transient women who agree to host the two. Liebrecht gives us wonderful descriptions of Tel Aviv`s bohemian atmosphere in the 1960s, including descriptions of how the father – an unsuccessful poet – courts women. For this was the father’s real talent: to charm and love women. Meir witnessed his father’s career as a Casanova until it came to a tragic end: he was jailed for the murder of one of his lovers, who either took her own life or was killed by her deranged sister. He spent 18 years in jail. This event separated the young Meir from his father. But now, when the details become clear, it is too late to make up for it. Meir`s father dies and Meir must cope with his fractured life in the one way he can: by writing.
A fascinating and striking story, a novel in which Liebrecht's style has reached full maturity.
Totally enthralling… tremendously thought-provoking...with enough suspense that you won’t want to put it down too easily.
Baltimore Jewish Times
An adventure journey into the innermost parts of a hurt soul. A moving novel.
Savyon Liebrecht has again published a gripping novel, which transforms basic human problems into a psychologically convincing plot. Absolutely recommended!