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The Deborah Harris Agency





Full manuscript available.

How do you survive the unsurvivable? How do you go on living when life as you know it has vanished?

Kay Wilson, a British-born Israeli, loved her life as a tour guide living in Jerusalem. With her beagle Peanut by her side, she traversed the rich terrain of Israel, guiding tourists, politicans, journalists, historians and friends, explaining for all who cared to ask the tumultuous and grand nature of the country she loves so dearly.

In the winter of 2010, Kay was guiding her American Christian tourist friend Kristine Luken on a hike in the Matta Forest near Jerusalem. As they took a break to have some snacks and take in the magical views, they were accosted by two men, who tied them up, tortured and hacked at them with machetes. Kristine died at the scene. Gagged, bound and barefoot, Kay managed to drag herself to a picnic area where medical help was summoned. Despite 18 machete wounds and over 30 fractures, her life was saved by an Arab surgeon.

THE MACHETE AND THE SCALPEL is the tale of a woman's resurrection from the near-dead. Flung into the spotlight in the aftermath of the attack, Kay must navigate this new world, without strength, without comfort, without safety, and without Kristine. Her battle with PTSD is recounted in these pages with grief, anger, and a sardonic sense of humor and a relentless struggle against her survivor’s guilt. This is a journey of horror that becomes a triumph against the forces of evil.

In the years following the attack, Kay works with her trauma therapist to face what has happened, and how she must go on. She revisits the site in the forest where she stared death in the face. She attends the trial of the men who aimed to end her life and faces them down. She keeps her friends close – Jew and Arab, Christian and Muslim – and refuses to succumb to the hate that drove her attackers to kill. And she does much more.

Also a remarkable, perhaps unique story of redemption: Kay rescues a persecuted Palestinian boy and hides him in her home when he is under death threat by his community for having the wrong opinion. She starts an after-school program for Palestinian children in a refugee camp, instilling in young children an appreciation for life that will act as salve against their indoctrination.

Kay’s memoir is unlike anything else you will ever read. Jarring and funny, Kay’s wit and newfound wisdom will have you weeping and laughing, and leave you inspired.