books of the month twitter eleanor oliphant granchester second sister
Vouchers


Tale Of Love And Darkness by Amos Oz
  

Tale Of Love And Darkness

Biography / Autobiography   All Shortlists and Winners   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Winner of the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for Non-Fiction.
Internationally acclaimed Israeli author of some eighteen books gives us the story of his childhood, the birth of a nation, the portrait of a family and one of the most touching memoirs you’ll read for a long time. From the war-torn streets of Jerusalem in the 1940s and 1950s, he dives back into 120 years of family history from Russia, Lithuania and the Ukraine. It’s got to be read.

If you like Amos Oz you might also like to read books by Michael Ondaatje, Anita Desai and David Grossman.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Synopsis

Tale Of Love And Darkness by Amos Oz

Love and darkness are just two of the powerful forces that run through Amos Oz's extraordinary, moving story. He takes us on a bold, seductive journey through his childhood and adolescence, a quixotic child's eye view along Jerusalem's wartorn streets in the 1940s and '50s, and into the infernal marriage of two kind, well-meaning people: his fussy, logical father, and his dreamy, romantic mother.

Caught between them is one small boy with the weight of generations on his shoulders. And at the tragic heart of the tale is the suicide of his mother, when Amos was twelve-and-a-half years old. Soon after, still a gawky adolescent, he left home, changed his name and became a tractor driver on a kibbutz.'Jews go back to Palestine' urged the graffiti in 1930s Lithuania, so they went; then later the walls of Europe shouted 'Jews get out of Palestine'. Oz's story dives into 120 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. Those who stayed in Europe were murdered; those who escaped took the past with them.

In search of the roots of his family tragedy, he uncovers the secrets and skeletons of four generations of Chekhovian characters in a Tolstoyan drama. The three sisters who got away; the old woman with a terrible fear of Levantine germs; the men who liked women, just a bit too much; cats in the classroom, bombs in the street, the dwarf in the department store; messianic kibbutzniks and self-important scholars; the night the UN said yes to Israel and his father cried; the day a priggish little Jewish boy tried - disastrously - to impress a Palestinian girl- Farce and heartbreak, history and humanity make up this magical portrait of the artist who saw the birth of a nation, and lived through its turbulent events as well as his own. As rich and glorious as a symphony, as immediate and personal as a child's confession, the story comes circling round to the heart of a small boy's darkness, and the unbearable moment that ends his tale but makes a writer of him.


Browse inside this book

Reviews

Love and darkness are just two of the powerful forces that run through Amos Oz's extraordinary, moving story. He takes us on a seductive journey through his childhood and adolescence, along Jerusalem's war-torn streets in the 1940s and '50s, and into the infernal marriage of two kind, well-meaning people: his fussy, logical father, and his dreamy, romantic mother. Caught between them is one small boy with the weight of generations on his shoulders. And at the tragic heart of the story is the suicide of his mother, when Amos was twelve-and-a-half years old. Oz's story dives into 120 year 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 magical portrait of the artist who saw the birth of a nation, and came through its turbulent life as well as his own. This is a memoir like no other, and one that cries out to be read and wept over.


About the Author

Amos Oz
Born in Jerusalem in 1939, Amos Oz is the internationally acclaimed author of many novels and essay collections, translated into 30 languages. He has received several international awards, including the Prix Femina, the Israel Prize and the Frankfurt Peace Prize. He lives in Arad, Israel.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

4th August 2005

Author

Amos Oz

More books by Amos Oz
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Vintage

Format

Paperback (b Format)
528 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Biography: historical, political & military
Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
Literary studies: from c 1900 -

ISBN

9780099450030

If you love reading, then you'll love Lovereading! Full of tips & info for every discerning reader.

Lynne Rapson

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

Lovereading does a stella job in promoting both new and established authors.

Iris Clements

I love 'try before you buy' extracts. I love the wide range of authors & genres. I love the author info. I love books!

Judi Davies

I love the 'like for like' author recommendations, it's like an old friend whispering in your ear.

Emma Caddick

I 'Lovereading' because it lets me see what new books are around with a detailed synopsis and readers' reviews.

Judith Sharp

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools