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To Be Amadea

Alona Kimhi

For 12 years, Esther has toiled away at her novel with great passion and faith in her own talent. When it is finished she is sure that she has produced a masterpiece, a divine creation that is no less than absolute perfection. After all, could anyone evaluate great literature better than her, a sought-after editor with impeccable taste, whose selection of books in the series that she is editing are all examples of the finest literature there is? She only respects the opinion of her friend Bertie, a professor she has admired ever since her student days. She shows him the manuscript without revealing the author’s identity. Apart from Bertie, Esther has no friends other than Mirsky, a virtual friend, who is in love with her though he has never met her and is not aware that Esther has a rare facial disfigurement that makes her ugly.  To her great surprise, Bertie pans the novel as the work of a pretentious scribbler without talent.

Around the same time, Hili, an unknown young actress, comes into Esther’s life. She pours her heart out to Esther and tells her about the unrequited love she feels for a married man, and about her powerful desire to become a great and admired actress. Hili, who suffers from low self-esteem and is captured in a circle of self-destruction, worships the wise and self-confident Esther in the way that a believer worships his god. Esther, in turn, becomes addicted to Hili’s admiration and fails to see how manipulative the young actress can be. Inevitably, their relationship deteriorates and Hili’s adulation turns into hatred. After she loses the role of a lifetime to another actress, she commits suicide, but leaves behind the manuscript of a splendid novel. Esther is thrilled by this literary gem, and cannot resist the temptation…

The novel is published, it becomes a world-wide success, and Esther takes all the glory for herself. However, an old friend of Hili’s threatens to expose the fraud. Esther will not let him ruin her. She has to take extreme, insane action to save herself, and she does not hesitate.

Title To Be Amadea
Author’s Last Name Kimhi
Author's First Name Alona
Language(s) Hebrew, French
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Achuzat Bayit
Year of Publication (Hebrew) forthcoming
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Lihiyot Amadea
Representation Represented by ITHL


French: Paris, Gallimard, forthcoming


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