Notebook in hand, renowned author and onetime kibbutznik Amos Oz traveled throughout his homeland to talk with people—workers, soldiers, religious zealots, aging pioneers, desperate Arabs, visionaries—asking them questions about Israel’s past, present, and future. Observant or secular, rich or poor, native-born or new immigrant, they shared their points of view, memories, hopes, and fears, and Oz recorded them.
What emerges is a distinctive portrait of a changing nation and a complex society, supplemented by Oz’s own observations and reflections, that reflects an insider’s view of a country still forming its own identity. In the Land of Israel is “an exemplary instance of a writer using his craft to come to grips with what is happening politically and to illuminate certain aspects of Israeli society that have generally been concealed by polemical formulas” (The New York Times).
Why are words so important to so many Jews? Novelist Amos Oz and historian Fania Oz-Salzberger roam the gamut of Jewish history to explain the integral relationship of Jews and words. Through a blend of storytelling and scholarship, conversation and argument, father and daughter tell the tales behind Judaism’s most enduring names, adages, disputes, texts, and quips. These words, they argue, compose the chain connecting Abraham with the Jews of every subsequent generation.
Framing the discussion within such topics as continuity, women, timelessness, and individualism, Oz and Oz-Salzberger deftly engage Jewish personalities across the ages, from the unnamed, possibly female author of the Song of Songs through obscure Talmudists to contemporary writers. They suggest that Jewish continuity, even Jewish uniqueness, depends not on central places, monuments, heroic personalities, or rituals but rather on written words and an ongoing debate between the generations. Full of learning, lyricism, and humor, Jews and Words offers an extraordinary tour of the words at the heart of Jewish culture and extends a hand to the reader, any reader, to join the conversation.
Strange things are happening in Tel Ilan, a century-old pioneer village. A disgruntled retired politician complains to his daughter that he hears the sound of digging at night. Could it be their tenant, that young Arab? But then the young Arab hears the digging sounds too. And where has the mayor’s wife gone, vanished without a trace, her note saying “Don’t worry about me”?
Around the village, the veneer of new wealth—gourmet restaurants, art galleries, a winery—barely conceals the scars of war and of past generations: disused air-raid shelters, rusting farm tools, and trucks left wherever they stopped. Scenes From Village Life is a memorable novel in stories by the inimitable Amos Oz: a brilliant, unsettling glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday life.
Translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange
“Finely wrought . . . Oz writes characterizations that are subtle but surgically precise, rendering this work a powerfully understated treatment of an uneasy Israeli conscience." —Publishers Weekly, starred
“Informed by everything, weighed down by nothing, this is an exquisite work of art.”—The Scotsman
Winner of the International Literature Prize, the new novel by Amos Oz is his first full-length work since the best-selling A Tale of Love and Darkness.
Jerusalem, 1959. Shmuel Ash, a biblical scholar, is adrift in his young life when he finds work as a caregiver for a brilliant but cantankerous old man named Gershom Wald. There is, however, a third, mysterious presence in his new home. Atalia Abarbanel, the daughter of a deceased Zionist leader, a beautiful woman in her forties, entrances young Shmuel even as she keeps him at a distance. Piece by piece, the old Jerusalem stone house, haunted by tragic history and now home to the three misfits and their intricate relationship, reveals its secrets.
At once an exquisite love story and coming-of-age novel, an allegory for the state of Israel and for the biblical tale from which it draws its title, Judas is Amos Oz's most powerful novel in decades.
Set in 1950s Jerusalem, My Michael is the story of a remote and intense woman named Hannah Gonen and her marriage to a decent but unremarkable man named Michael. As the years pass and Hannah’s tempestuous fantasy life encroaches upon reality, she feels increasingly estranged from him and the marriage gradually disintegrates. Gorgeously written, profoundly moving, this extraordinary novel is at once a haunting love story, and a rich reflective portrait of a place.
"A dazzling, very beautiful, splendidly conceived and composed book." —New York Review of Books
“A rich symphony of humanity . . . If Oz’s eye for detail is enviable, it is his magnanimity which raises him to the first rank of world authors.” —Sunday Telegraph (UK)
At Tel-Kedar, a settlement in the Negev desert, the longtime love affair between Theo, a sixty-year-old civil engineer, and Noa, a young schoolteacher, is slowly disintegrating. When a pupil dies under difficult circumstances, the couple and the entire town are thrown into turmoil. Amos Oz explores with brilliant insight the possibilities—and limits—of love and tolerance.
“Vivid, convincing, and haunting.” —New York Times Book Review
"I wrote this book with everything I have. Language, music, structure--everything that I have. . . . This is the closest book I've written. Close to me, close to what I always wanted. . . . I went as far as I could."--Amos Oz