In a lecture before his death that’s now been published as a book, Amos Oz sums up his world view, and explains why he is still optimistic
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.
Acclaimed author's daughter, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, J Street founder Jeremy Ben Ami among speakers at event in Reform synagogue
Amos Oz and Haim Gouri: The Fundamental Political Difference Between the Two Literary Giants Israel Lost
There were major differences between Haim Gouri of the ‘Palmach generation’ and Amoz Oz, who rebelled against it, yet with their deaths, we have lost two of the greatest lovers of Israel, and also two of its greatest critics
Two prominent writers and a translator say goodbye to friend and colleague Amos Oz, who with great prescience described the ills of occupation already in 1967
President Rivlin, a childhood friend of Oz's, said 'you were unafraid of being called a traitor. You saw it as a mark of honor' ■ Coffin displayed at Tzavta Theater in Tel Aviv ahead of his funeral
As a public figure, Oz was the ideal cipher on which outsiders could project their own ideas of a 'different Israel': philosophic, progressive, peace-seeking. But that idealistic dream, together with the two-state solution Oz tirelessly advocated, has long gone
The consummate Israeliness that Amos Oz purportedly described in his books has expired; no one is left to carry on his seductive and bewitching admonitions, in which few still believe
Just two weeks after ‘All the Rivers’ was published, I received a letter from the man who composed some of the most beautifully written books in Hebrew. ‘In your voice you echo your writers, as I myself echo my writers,' Oz told me
Portman and Oz worked closely together to bring one of Oz's most famous works, 'A Tale of Love and Darkness,' to the big screen
Oz warned of the dangers of the occupation back in 1967, called radicalized settlers neo-Nazis and boycotted Israeli embassy events abroad. But he kept repeating that he loves Israel, 'even when I can't stand it'
Amos railed against the occupation from the very beginning, even if he took a symmetrical approach to the Israelis and Palestinians – a symmetry that never existed
In recent years, Oz increasingly felt himself to be a voice crying in the political wilderness. Nevertheless, he refused to despair
The great writer, men of action like myself, and the rest of us are responsible for stopping the mad dash toward messianic zealotry, racism and darkness
The giant of Israeli literature didn’t hobnob with celebrities, but put the reader in the street, the garden and the kibbutz and brought out the pain and anxiety of Israeli life
He was interested in others with an almost childlike curiosity. He listened. Even taxi drivers knew it
Former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who described him as a secular prophet with 'burning moral passion,' among many who lauded the late writer's influence on Israeli public life
The Israel Prize laureate, the author of 'A Tale of Love and Darkness,' promoted peace with the Palestinians and was one of the country's most widely translated writers
While he still awaits recognition from the Nobel committee, Amos Oz recently received another, unexpected literary honor
The list of translated Israelis is enormous, and the occupation doesn’t even sour the mood with some readers. Still, the U.S., British and Scandinavian markets remain tough nuts to crack
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
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.'
The right-wing group's director tells Haaretz, however, that the public has the right to know about cultural figures' left-wing affiliations.