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 to another of the four fictional manifestations of my narrator's secret celebrity lover: Tzipi Honigman, the 68-year-old Israeli novelist who just won the Nobel Prize. No need to feel ignorant if you've never heard of her: she's a figment of my imagination.
My 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.
If I had a little more courage, I'd also show you a picture of Tzipi's jealous ex, Hannah. My narrator describes the most famous image of her:
"I've seen a photograph of her pregnancy. She was so stunningly beautiful. Annie Leibovitz took a portrait of her, smiling beatifically over her perfect, soft breasts, the tendrils of her brown hair falling over her shoulders, her lovely round belly circled by Tzipi's unmistakably muscular and yet graceful, tanned arm. Tzipi was mostly out of the shot, obscured by Hannah's naked glory, but you could see her pressing her face into the back of her lover's neck.
"That was ten years ago. Hannah was 19. Tzipi was 58."
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
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!"
I hope Tzipi soesn't see this post. I never told her I didn't like the cover of her book.
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 the interview...
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...