Originally posted to the Two Dollar Radio Blog (Noise):
Monday, May 10, 2010
A couple of
months ago, Eric asked me to blog about my novel, The Correspondence
Artist, and I decided to devote a week of
posts to one of my characters, Duong Van Binh. I'm dedicating this week
another of the four fictional manifestations of my narrator's secret
lover: Tzipi Honigman, the 68-year-old Israeli novelist who just won the
No need to feel ignorant if
you've never heard of her: she's a figment of my imagination.
narrator's best friend says, "You know, I think Tzipi Honigman is the
most beautiful woman in the world. She makes you think there's nothing
sexier than a woman in her 60s." This is true. Look at her author photo.
little more courage, I'd also show you a picture of Tzipi's jealous ex,
My narrator describes the most famous image of her:
"I've seen a
photograph of her pregnancy. She was so stunningly
Annie Leibovitz took a portrait of her, smiling beatifically over her
soft breasts, the tendrils of her brown hair falling over her shoulders,
lovely round belly circled by Tzipi's unmistakably muscular and yet
tanned arm. Tzipi was mostly out of the shot, obscured by Hannah's naked
but you could see her pressing her face into the back of her lover's
"That was ten years
ago. Hannah was 19. Tzipi was 58."
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
When a friend of mine saw the cover of Tzipi's last novel, she said, "She may be the world's greatest living novelist, but I'm sorry, this cover is really tacky. It looks like Jonathan Livingston Seagull!"
Tzipi soesn't see this post. I never told her I didn't like the cover of her
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Vivian's first extended conversation with Tzipi took place
at a famous restaurant in Tel Aviv, Mul Yam. Although that dinner ended in
catastrophe, I'd definitely recommend the food.
The chef is Yoram Nitzan.
Nitzan is a devoted friend of Tzipi's, despite the fact that she
"ruins" his beautiful food by washing it down with Coca-Cola. She
refuses to drink wine! She says it makes her feel "desiccated".
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tzipi was married briefly in the 70s, and she has an adult
son named Asher with whom she's very close. Asher was recently interviewed on
the radio. People always ask the same question: what was it like growing up
with an iconic cultural figure for a mother?
Here's another video from Tzipi's YouTube page - some footage from a 1987 interview with Jean-Pierre Léaud. They spent some time together on a mutual friend's houseboat in the south of France in the late 70s.
She also posted this - me reading the "Rire de la Méduse" passage from the novel...
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