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Seven years after their divorce, Ilana breaks the bitter silence with a letter to Alex, a world-renowned authority on fanaticism, begging for help with their rebellious adolescent son, Boaz. One letter leads to another, and so evolves a correspondence between Ilana and Alex, Alex and Michel (Ilana's Moroccan husband), Alex and his Mephistophelian Jerusalem lawyer--a correspondence between mother and father, stepfather and stepson, father and son, each pleading his or her own case. The grasping, lyrical, manipulative, loving Ilana has stirred things up. Now, her former husband and her present husband have become rivals not only for her loyalty but for her son's as well.
In this new edition contemporary Judaism is presented in all its rich diversity, including both traditional and modern theologies as well as secular forms of Jewish identity. While the focus of the book is on developments that have taken place in the past two hundred years, they are set against a historical background, going back to the Bible. Beginning with a description of the Jewish people as it exists in today's world, it studies the unique concept of Jewish peoplehood and its survival over the centuries in the face of many challenges. An account of the key texts is followed by studies of the different interpretations of the religion, and the ways that life is lived out both in the home and in the community. Jewish theology is described both historically and in terms of contemporary issues. An important and distinctive section considers the goals of Jewish life and faith.
One of Amos Oz's earliest and most famous novels, My Michael created a sensation upon its initial publication in 1968 and established Oz as a writer of international acclaim. Like all great books, it has an enduring power to surprise and mesmerize. Set in 1950s Jerusalem, My Michael tells 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 and profoundly moving, this extraordinary novel is at once a haunting love story and a rich, reflective portrait of place.
In this deft, masterly book, Amos Oz turns his attention away from his family-the subject of the internationally acclaimed A Tale of Love and Darkness-and toward his profession, writing. The plot: eight hours in the life of an author. The setting: Tel Aviv, a stifling, hot night. A literary celebrity is giving a reading from his new book. And as his attention wanders, he begins to invent lives for the strangers he sees around him: here, a self-styled cultural guru, Yakir Bar-Orian Zhitomirski; there, a love-starved professional reader, Rochele Reznik; to say nothing of Ricky the waitress, the real object of his desire. One life story builds on another, and the author finds himself unexpectedly involved with his creations . . .
The Same Sea is Amos Oz's most adventurous and inventive novel, the book by which he would like to be remembered. The cast of characters ranges from a prodigal son to a widowed father who has taken in his son's enticing young girlfriend, who in turn sleeps with her boyfriend's close friend. The author himself receives phone calls from his characters, criticizing the way he portrays them in his novel. In this human profusion there is chaos and order, love and eroticism, loyalty and betrayal, and ultimately an extraordinary energy."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
"Informed by everything, weighed down by nothing, this is an exquisite work of art." --The ScotsmanStrange 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. Where has the mayor's wife gone, vanished without 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
Tragic, comic, and utterly honest, this extraordinary memoir is at once a great family saga and a magical self-portrait of a writer who witnessed the birth of a nation and lived through its turbulent history.It is the story of a boy growing up in the war-torn Jerusalem of the forties and fifties, in a small apartment crowded with books in twelve languages and relatives speaking nearly as many. His mother and father, both wonderful people, were ill-suited to each other. When Oz was twelve and a half years old, his mother committed suicide, a tragedy that was to change his life. He leaves the constraints of the family and the community of dreamers, scholars, and failed businessmen and joins a kibbutz, changes his name, marries, has children, and finally becomes a writer as well as an active participant in the political life of Israel.A story of clashing cultures and lives, of suffering and perseverance, of love and darkness.
Two novellas showing the atmosphere of hatred in which Jews must live, die, and struggle for rationality both historically and in the present. Woodcuts by Jacob Pins. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Amos Oz's first book--beautifully repackaged--is a disturbing and moving collection of short stories about kibbutz life. Each of the eight stories in this volume grips the reader from the first line. Each conveys the tension and intensity of feeling in the founding period of Israel, a brand-new state with an age-old history. Some are love stories, more are hate stories, and frequently the two urges intertwine.