It's 1988 and Lily Bloom, a sixty-five-year-old American, lies dying of cancer in the Royal Ear Hospital in Central London. Not that there's anything wrong with her ears - it's the only bed they could find for her. As her two daughters buzz around her and the nurses pump her full of morphine, Lily slides in and out of consciousness; outraged that there's so little time left and so many people still to disparage. In her delirium she is tormented by the corkscrew hatred of Jewish anti-Semitism, and a lifetime of unruly passions. In the corner of the ward sits an impassibe Aboriginal Australian man, who from time to time reminds Lily that it will be his responsibility to ferry her across the Styx, and that in lieu of a coin, he'll happily accept her dentures.