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Benjamin Tammuz


"Thea, This letter…is not signed and I daresay we shall never meet. Yet I have seen you and I have made sure that you saw me…You didn't recognize me. But even so, you belong to me. You will never have an opportunity to ask me questions, but my voice will reach you through my letters, and I know that you will read them."
Thus begins a bizarre correspondence. The writer first sees Thea on a bus. With her dark hair, honey-colored eyes and regal bearing, she is the mysterious beauty he claims to have been searching for all his life. Thea is bright, intellectual, sheltered and romantic.He, a secret agent, becomes Thea's phantom lover--unseen, unknown, except through the hypnotic letters with which he bewitches her heart and soul. The reader awaits every letter as tensely as Thea, and feels equally frustrated and upset by the cruel anonymity that he demands.Tammuz’s masterly writing makes the narrative utterly convincing: both Thea's growing love for her unseen partner and the obsessive desire for innocence and beauty that she inspires, despite the incredible circumstances.

Selected Best Book of the Year by Graham Greene in The Observer, 1981, and by David Pryce-Jones in the Financial Times, 1983.

After reading the last line, you feel like holding the book in your hands for a while, with love and anger, before putting it back on the shelf of timeless novels.
Il Corriere della Sera

I was locked in and engulfed by the story... The design is beautiful and complex, with not a word wasted.
Author Alan Sillitoe

A novel...about the expectations and compromises that humans create for themselves...very much in the manner of William Faulkner and Laurence Durrell.
New York Times Book Review

An uncommon book, very suggestive and original, whose charm enraptures the reader. Not to be missed.

Title Minotaur
Author’s Last Name Tammuz
Author's First Name Benjamin
Language(s) English, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Greek, Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Turkish
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1980
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 1992
No. Pages 104 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Minotaur
Representation Represented by ITHL


English: New York, NAL, 1981; New York, Signet, 1982; London, Enigma Books, 1983; New York, Europa, 2005
French: Paris, Buchet-Chastel, 1983; Paris, Le Serpent a Plumes, 1995
Italian: Rome, e/o, 1994; pocket book: 1997; 2005; pback: Rome, e/o Tascabili, 2011
German: Frankfurt, Fischer Taschenbuch, 1996; pback: 2017
Spanish: Barcelona, Destino, 1997
Chinese: Beijing, China Social Sciences, 1998
Greek: Athens, Gavrielides, 1997
Turkish: Istanbul, Dogan, 2000
Russian: Jerusalem/Moscow, Gesharim/Mosti Kulturi, 2001; Saint Petersburg, Limbus Press, 2021
Estonian: Tartu, Elmatar, 2002
Polish: Warsaw, Claroscuro, 2011
Slovenian: Ljubljana, Mohorjeva Druzba, 2011
Portuguese: Rio de Janeiro, ‏‎Rádio Londres, 2015‎‏