Ten Days in the Hills
Ten Days in the Hills is a big, smart, bawdy tale of love and war, sex and politics, friendship and betrayal - and the allure of the movies. On the morning after the 2003 Academy Awards, Max - an Oscar-winning writer/director whose fame has waned - and his lover, Elena, are in bed, still groggy from last night's red-carpet festivities. They are talking about movies, talking about love, talking about the just-begun war in Iraq. But a house full of guests demands attention. There are: Max's ex - 'the legendary Zoe Cunningham' a dazzling half-Jamaican movie star; their strong-willed daughter, Isabel; Max's agent, Stoney, a too easy-going version of his now-departed agent father; Paul, Zoe's new lover, an enigmatic (fraudulent, or enlightened?) healer; and a coterie of others. Over the next ten days they share their stories of Hollywood past and present, their fears provoked by the Iraq war; gossip by the swimming pool and tussle in the many bedrooms. The tension mounts, sparks fly, and Jane Smiley delivers a virtuosic, unputdownable romp of a novel about love, war, sex, politics and storytelling ... and, of course, redemption - that's Hollywood! First published 2007.