A Jerusalem student is hired to read aloud to a charismatic woman who is losing her eyesight, and falls under her spell. The murky intimacy that grows between the two will, ironically, lead a person who is sharing her own vision with another into the depths of darkness, from which it seems doubtful that she will ever escape. In a second story, a woman voluntarily hospitalizes herself together with her demented mother, taking her mother’s seclusion upon herself. Gradually she dissolves her own self into oblivion that was ever in its essence. There are two novellas in this new and stirring book by Michal Ben Naftali, and each presents a story about love between women. Like the characters, the two novellas borrow light and darkness, power and secrets, from each other. They each tell of a departure from one story, which is suffocatingly depicted and a secretive entry into another story, someone else’s; into lives whose receding significance is captured by the strength of devotion.
"The novella A Dress of Fire, whose title is taken from a poem by Dahlia Ravikovich, abounds in the fruits of the act of reading: Proust and Descartes. Borges and Marguerite Duras, and more. Ben-Naftali ingests allusions and quotations into her own dizzying whirlpool and uses them in her own way, all devotedly feeding the flame, all colored by its hues, all giving of themselves to it.” Orit Neumayer Potashnik
“A complex and beautiful book.” Guy Pearl
“It is precisely when Ben Naftali touches the depths of pain that she soars to the heights of beauty.” Keren Dotan