Ten Days in The Hills by Jane Smiley

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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 their house full of guests demands attention. Gathered downstairs are: Max's ex-wife "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 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; they watch films in Max's luxury screening room; they gossip by the swimming pool and tussle in the many bedrooms, as the tension mounts and sparks fly. Inspired by Boccaccio's Decameron, "Ten Days in the Hills" is an unputdownable novel about love, war, sex, politics, storytelling and, of course, redemption, by one of the most talented American writers at work today.