Synopses & Reviews
Fiction. "The mystery of who butchered ethereally beautiful and pregnant Elsbeth is at the heart of Keller's elegant and spooky second novel (part of a trilogy, after Jackpot). Was it the traumatized and fragile narrator, Sally, whose friendship with the dead woman verged on the obsessive? Or was it Elsbeth's arrogant and demanding boyfriend, Drew, who resented Sally's relationship with her? Keller flirts with the answer as her novel slips back and forth through time to depict tantalizing glimpses of possible truths filtered through Sally's uncertain memories. As her emotions unravel, Sally finds solace in the gentlemen who play chess in the park where she breakfasts, and maintains, however fitfully, an uneasy reliance on Lydia, a self-centered and mean-spirited friend who thinks Sally is better off with Elsbeth dead. The police, bent on extracting a confession from Sally, harangue her during increasingly abusive interrogation sessions that provide her a forum for creepily pondering her (questionable) innocence. This opaque yet beguiling novel showcases the work of a talented and original writer"--Publishers Weekly.
It is the end of the millennium. A relaxed and anticipated summer on Manhattan's East Side turns into a nightmare for the impressionable and vulnerable Sally. In this tightly woven novel, she is suspected of having murdered her closest friend, Elsbeth, with whom she has had a mysterious and absorbing relationship. Traumatized by the detectives investigating the murder, and by her own confused recollections, Sally experiences subtle reality shifts, as if she existed, simultaneously, on two or more fault lines and could not always trust what she thought she saw or heard. She began to doubt small, ordinary things. Keller's lean, taut, and unsettling prose enhances the simmering suspense that permeates this novel, as she fuses the elements of a Rashomon-type narrative with a Hitchcock classic.
About the Author
Tsipi Keller was born in Prague, raised in Israel, and has been living in the United States since 1974. Her short fiction, and her poetry translations, have appeared in many journals and anthologies; her novels, The Prophet of Tenth Street (1995) and Leverage (1997) were translated into Hebrew and published by Sifriat Poalim. (Currently, The Prophet of Tenth Street is being translated into German.) Keller's translation of Dan Pagis's posthumous collection, Last Poems, was published by The Quarterly Review of Literature (1993), and her translation of Irit Katzir's posthumous collection, And I Wrote Poems, was published by Carmel in 2000. Among her awards are: A National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two New York Foundation for the Arts grants, and an Armand G. Erpf award from Columbia University. Her novels RETELLING (2006) and JACKPOT (2004) were published by Spuyten Duyvil.