Amos Oz

File photo: Israeli writer Amos Oz poses for a photo at his house in Tel Aviv, Israel, November 4, 2015.

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.