From the internationally acclaimed Amos Oz, a deft, masterly novella. The story: eight hours in the life of an author. The setting: Tel Aviv, a stifling hot night. A literary celebrity is giving a reading from his new book. And as his attention wanders, he begins to invent lives for the strangers he sees around him: here, a self-styled cultural guru, Yakir Bar-Orian Zhitomirski; there, a love-starved professional reader, Rochele Reznik; to say nothing of Ricky the waitress, the real object of his desire. One life story builds on another, and the author finds himself unexpectedly involved with his creations . . .