Albert Giron, a clerk in the Tel Aviv Municipality, decides to retire early to realize an old dream and write a novel. But now that he has all the time in the world he finds it difficult to write. His diary is filled with thoughts, his notebooks with fine phrases in Hebrew, but the pages of what he calls "the work" remain empty. Seeking inspiration, he cuts himself off from his wife and family and argues with his daughter over her left-wing views about Israeli policy. He wanders about the country in search of inspiration and finally finds it on the beach in Tel Aviv. A young Russian woman, a "tender, noble soul," becomes his muse, from whom he learns about the fruitful encounter between reality and fiction. Although he loses her, she lives on in his imagination. He writes a series of letters in her name, and thus creates his fictional work of art.
Megged has his finger on the pulse of the Israeli experience.
Megged has an anthropological eye, ironic to a degree, free of malice, and his characters are clearly drawn, well rooted in their social background, and move in a world that is intimately known and sketched with a sure hand.
Deep, intriguing, and well written. Megged constantly surprises us with the plot's development, toying with the reader's expectations.
English translation available (for publishers only)