A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos OzTragic, comic, and utterly honest, A Tale of Love and Darkness is at once a 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. The story of an adolescent whose life has been changed forever by his mothers suicide when he was twelve years old. The story of a man who leaves the constraints of his family and its community of dreamers, scholars, and failed businessmen to join a kibbutz, change his name, marry, have children. The story of a writer who becomes an active participant in the political life of his nation.
Natalie Portman On "A Tale Of Love And Darkness" - BUILD Series
A Tale Of Love And Darkness
Translated by Nicholas de Lange. ONCE upon a time in Jerusalem, looking at a half-blind bird in a cage, with only a paper-winged pine cone to keep it company, Fania Klausner explained something to her little boy, Amos, her only child. Like me. Until now, Oz has never written about his unhappy mother and the January day in when she walked back through the rain to a moldy flat and an overdose of sedatives. Nor had he and his father ever discussed it: "From the day of my mother's death to the day of my father's death, 20 years later, we did not talk about her once. Not a word.
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.
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Tragic, comic, and utterly honest, A Tale of Love and Darkness is at once a family saga and a magical self-portrait of a writer who witnessed the birth of a nation.
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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.
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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.