In his new nonfiction book the novelist’s language is wondrous as usual, but behind it lurks all the problems of the Zionist left – from arrogance and sanctification of secularism to dodging the toughest questions
Amos Oz is one of Israel's most famous authors, with an extensive worldwide following and recipient of much international acclaim.
Oz was born in Jerusalem in 1939, and raised on Kibbutz Hulda. As a young man, he studied philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He began publishing his work in 1961, at the age of 22. He has gone on to publish more than 18 books in Hebrew, including novels, novellas, collections of short stories and essays, and some 500 articles and essays for Israeli and international periodicals. His most famous works include Black Box, A Tale of Love and Darkness and In the Land of Israel.
Oz has also served as a visiting fellow at Oxford University, an author in residence at the Hebrew University, and writer in residence at Colorado College.
Before beginning his university studies, Oz spent three years in the Israel Defense Forces (1957-1960), and returned to duty during the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It was after his army experiences that Oz adopted a dovish political stance, and he has been active in promoting dialogue and peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. He has also written extensively about Israel’s conflict with the Arabs.
Many of Oz’s stories are centered around kibbutz life, and explore his characters' relationships with the modern State of Israel. He writes both fiction and nonfiction, in which he examines human nature and presents the land and people of Israel along with its political situations.
Oz has also received several awards in Israel and abroad, such as the Prix Femina and Officier des Arts et Lettres in France, the Frankfurt Peace Prize, the Primo Levi Prize in Italy, and the Israel Prize. He is also regularly touted as a favorite for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Today Oz is a professor of literature at Ben-Gurion University in southern Israel. He spoke out on several occasions during Israel’s recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza, urging dialogue and restraint. Oz is one of Israel’s greatest authors, and his body of work paints a unique image of modern Israel, its land, its people, and the long journey toward peace.
At the award ceremony, the Israeli author was praised for his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
'In these times when walls are being built, this explosion of brilliant ideas from around the world arriving into the English language feels more important than ever,' lead judge Nick Barley said.
Israeli author eulogizes his friend with lament for lack of leadership for peace before audience that included both Netanyahu and Abbas.
The best eulogies were those that addressed not only what Peres had accomplished, but also what remains left to be done.
The prize-winning novelist, in his graveside eulogy to statesman Shimon Peres, challenges Israeli leaders to pursue the unfinished business of resolving decades of conflict with the Palestinians.
Shimon Peres didn't have the courage to stick to his views, so his only accomplishments were largely motivated by the desire to win love and respect in the right circles.
'When I met Peres in the early seventies, he was a banal hawk, in my eyes – supporting settlers, a settler lover, a security man,' Amos Oz says.
At Sopot, aficionados describe why they eat up translations from the Hebrew, especially writers like Etgar Keret, who don’t push the Holocaust, the Palestinian conflict or kibbutzim.
The actress, who directs and plays the novelist’s mother, says 'his feedback to my script adaptation was more of a factual nature than a creative one.'