Writer, Artist, Designer
Esther of the Cigarettes
Prose Series, Yedioth Books, 2018
Esther was eighty-five when she received a message from the afterlife: Nine months from today, you'll give birth to a girl.
This is the story of one woman who challenged eternity and time-sequences in an attempt to mend her life backwards.
It is a bitter-sweet and very funny story about inherited family curses, the power of motherhood, desires that don’t die, and conflicting wishes that are all the one desire that no power can annihilate: the will to live.
Receiving the odd message, Esther is filled with joy. She is not demented and she did not dream that up. And she will tell it all - very nicely - to her daughter and nephew. How will they react? Sharp-minded Esther knows exactly how that will proceed, step by step.
The Israeli family - that elusive institution that few have managed to paint precisely - features in this story as part of a fantastic and surprising plot, presented from the uncommon perspective of an elderly woman: time works against her, but eternity is at her feet.
The masterfully-crafted heroine offers readers a critical look at
motherly care and warmth - concepts whose value seems self-evident.
For more than two decades, virtuoso writer Yossi Waxman has been publishing bold and enchanting, satirical and sharp prose, while offering a deep and rare understanding of human nature. Closely attentive to the hidden registers of his language, Waxman's unique style sets the stage for a gallery of eccentric characters whose weird actions match only their unusual language.
From the Press:
"With his spiced-up jargon, Waxman awakens the libido of golden agers in a way we've never seen before. Esther is an amazing and unorthodox character with a most daring inner world."
Maya Sela and Yuval Avivi, from the Bound,
Israel Broadcasting Corporation
"This is a wild and grotesque portrait of a surprisingly hormonal woman. Esther insists she is pregnant and has a strong desire for smoking with its erotic references, including seduction. It seems that the very stuff of life goes wild inside her like it’s the end of college. Halfway through the book, I did not want it to end. I did not want Esther to end and leave me, and sometimes felt that the turning pages of the book are her ticking clock."
"A Waxman novel is always a great joy. I spent the night with it and laughed my head off."
Goel Pinto, Culture, Israel Broadcasting Corporation
"Esther of the Cigarettes contains many scenes that for me were literary diamonds. The book was written in powerful color strokes with splashes of humor and crazy scenes that often compete in their whacky madness."
Yaron Avitov, Salonet
"Esther of the Cigarettes is a novel about aging and dying, which is not often visited in Israeli literature - yet, though the subject matter is morbid, the book is vibrant and full of life mainly because its heroine, old Esther, has such a big mouth, survival instinct, and inexhaustible vitality."
"This book is widely imaginative, wise, and totally unsanctimonious. It is a fantastic tale of a mad passion for life that surfaces right when life is about to end, a carol for living, and a story told with virtuoso talent."
"The book enchanted me. I could not let it go. It is a precise book in every aspect, including its linguistic range and pace. It is stormy, challenging, and sweeping."
Dr. Liora Beresh-Morgenstern
"I was so happy to discover a new book that turned into one of my favorites in just two nights of reading. Esther is easily one of my favorite literary characters."