A Tale Of Love And DarknessWhen I was little, my ambition was to grow up to be a book. People can be killed like ants. Writers are not hard to kill either. But not books: however systematically you try to destroy them, there is always a chance that a copy will survive". A Tale of Love and Darkness is a memoir set in a land of survivors: the scholars, shopkeepers, camp survivors and "suntanned pioneers" who in the aftermath of the Second World War came from all over Europe to the promised land of Israel. From now on, Oz's father tells him, weeping, "you will never be bullied just because you are a Jew.
Natalie Portman on Amos Oz, Israel and 'Darkness'
A Tale Of Love And Darkness
Amos Oz's remarkable, moving story takes us on a seductive journey through his childhood and adolescence, along Jerusalem's war-torn streets in the s and '50s and into a small apartment crowded with books in twelve languages and relatives speaking nearly as many. Caught between them is one small boy with the weight of generations on his shoulders. Oz dives into years of family history and paradox, the saga of a Jewish love-hate affair with Europe that sweeps from Vilna and Odessa, via Poland and Prague, to Israel. Farce and heartbreak, history and humanity make up this story of clashing cultures and lives, of suffering and perseverance, of love and darkness. A testament to a family, a time and a place. Read it now - I promise you won't read a more brilliant book in a long, long while.
Some time in the night between Saturday and Sunday the fifth and sixth of January, , Amos Oz's mother ended her life in her sister's flat on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, overdosing on medication prescribed to treat her depression. In the newspapers, a debate was raging about whether Israel should demand and accept reparations from Germany. The pragmatic left thought that Germany should pay the cost that Israel would have to bear to absorb the survivors, while the right declared it was immoral to sell absolution in exchange for tainted lucre. A couple of years later, Oz, by then 15, broke with his right-wing father and went, by himself, to live on a kibbutz. Oz's memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness, thought to be the biggest-selling literary work in Israeli history, is an exploration of why his mother killed herself, and the effect on him, a sensitive, intelligent boy growing up in Jerusalem during the last years of the British mandate and the war of independence. It is one of the funniest, most tragic and most touching books I have ever read. I am a great admirer of Oz as a novelist, of his spare, quiet portraits of intimacy between couples, but here, in this long book, he reveals a huge talent for the big narrative picture, for Dickensian character portraits and an expert fusion of history and personal life.
A Tale of Love and Darkness is a memoir by the Israeli author Amos Oz, first published in Hebrew in The book has been translated into 28 languages and.
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Some are lions of the Zionist movement—David Ben-Gurion before whom a young Oz made a terrifying command appearance , novelist S. Agnon, poet Saul Tchernikhovsky—others just neighbors and family friends, all painted lovingly and with humor. Though set mostly during the author's childhood in Jerusalem of the s and '50s, the tale is epic in scope, following his ancestors back to Odessa and to Rovno in 19th-century Ukraine, and describing the anti-Semitism and Zionist passions that drove them with their families to Palestine in the early s. In a rough, dusty, lower-middle-class suburb of Jerusalem, both of Oz's parents found mainly disappointment: his father, a scholar, failed to attain the academic distinction of his uncle, the noted historian Joseph Klausner. Oz's beautiful, tender mother, after a long depresson, committed suicide when Oz born in was By the age of 14, Oz was ready to flee his book-crammed, dreary, claustrophobic flat for the freedom and outdoor life of Kibbutz Hulda. Oz's personal trajectory is set against the background of an embattled Palestine during WWII, the jubilation after the U.
I was pleased to learn about the great writer Amos Oz, and to learn so much about the history of the State of Israel from someone who lived through it. The book was a little bit too long with a little too much detail and too many repetitions. If you can call your autobiography "A Tale of Love and Darkness" and make it seem halfway appropriate, you've probably done something right. Despite its dramatic -- if well-earned -- title, Amos Oz's A Tale of Love and Darkness.
The book has been translated into 28 languages and over a million copies have been sold worldwide. In , a bootleg Kurdish translation was found in a bookstore in northern Iraq. Oz was reportedly delighted. The book documents much of Oz's early life, and includes a family history researched by an uncle of his father. It describes a number of events he previously hadn't communicated.