Divine Diva - Daniel Gagnon
The famous Italian singer Iolanda, assailed by scandal and sick with cancer, has gone to an island to die. She reconsiders and rejects her past life, saying that she exploited her fame for hedonism and money, and never loved. The President of the Republic, the corrupt head of a corrupt and tottering government, telephones her repeatedly, pleading with her to return to the stage and bring back glory: she's a magical talisman to him, her youthful successes and his were at the same time, and he thinks he can still be successful. He's delusional, not just about Iolanda's health, but about his own corruption, never once taking responsibility, apparently sincerely believing his own excuses.

Meanwhile, Iolanda has at last found love: a young couple, Paolo and Francesca, care for her tenderly and she gives them her whole heart. She tries to tell the President how much more valuable she thinks these young people are than anything the President can offer her. Francesca battles the President on the telephone, telling him his faults bluntly. To the end, the President never admits he's wrong; and since he can't get Iolanda, he tries to win Francesca, but he completely misses the point of what Iolanda values in her; Francesca contemptuously rejects his offers of money, glory, and pleasure.

This is a short and pithy novella (though it could profitably be shortened even more), nicely summing up a certain state of mind and a certain political situation.