Magi Otsri

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The Orator

book | Fiction | 2017
Israel → Kinneret Zmora Bitan (Ed. Noa Menhaim)

Liat Knoller is a journalist who lost her ambition and works a dead-end job in a lowly news website. She’s forty, single, childless and her wealthy, bourgeois, and disappointed parents are always there to remind her of her failures.

One night, Liat receives an unexpected phone call and a shocking revelation about Lana Bitton, a charismatic self-made woman who raised from the ashes of a troubled childhood and criminal youth to become the new hope of her political party and one of the most influential and controversial women in the country. Her sweeping speeches have long become a phenomenon in the country, inspiring and inflaming, her sharp words always frankly exposing her truth.

So what could Lana be hiding? And why? Unveiling the secret could be the scoop of a lifetime for Liat, the golden chance most journalists can only dream of. But is she up to the job? Caught between awe and envy, is Liat prepared to destroy Lana’s political career to fulfil her own aspirations?

The Orator gives a razor-sharp account of the current-day tensions that mark Israeli politics, culture, and family life while raising some timely and burning questions. Why do we judge even the most powerful women by virtue of their sexual pasts and maternal futures? Is it more important for our children to know where they come from or to give them the best opportunities? And what is the value of truth in our society?

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Enrichetta Frezzato manages the translation rights for The Orator

Reviews

Rhythmic, eloquent and sweeping

Omri Hertzog
Ha'Aretz

The Orator is not only a thriller. It points out important insights regarding femininity, motherhood and Israeli social consciousness.

Gabi Bar-Haim
Yedioth Ahronoth

This is a sophisticated novel that exposes the manipulations behind identity politics and the origin discourse in Israel and in general...it is also very well-written suspense literature in which you can never be sure who is playing whom and why...

Adi Shtamberger
Jerusalem Post

Otsri is an intelligent writer… Much has been written about the bitter, aging spinster, about parent-child relations and about ethnic discrimination, but The Orator manages to look at all these issues with a critical and amusing eye.

Daria Maoz
Israel Hayom

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