Amos Oz: Life & Letters

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Amos Oz, one of Israel’s most distinguished novelists and public intellectuals.  Oz, 73, is the author of 18 books and more than 400 articles and essays in Hebrew, with translations of his work into some 40 languages, including Arabic. The recipient of numerous awards for his literature and for his peace activism, Oz is also a professor of literature at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Be’er Sheva. His autobiographical novel “A Tale of Love and Darkness” is an international bestseller and has been honored with 10 different prizes around the world. A film based on the novel is expected to begin production later this year. Most recently, he co-authored “Jews and Words” with his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger, in which they argue that what unites the Jewish people, more than blood or belief, are sacred and secular texts.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a clash of right and right,” Oz recently told the New York Times. “Tragedies are resolved in one of two ways: The Shakespearian way or the Anton Chekhov way. In a tragedy by Shakespeare, the stage at the end is littered with dead bodies. In a tragedy by Chekhov everyone is unhappy, bitter, disillusioned and melancholy but they are alive. My colleagues in the peace movement and I are working for a Chekhovian not a Shakespearian conclusion.”

Among his many awards and honors, Oz has received the Legion of Honour of France, the Goethe Prize, the French Prix Femina, the Frankfurt Peace Prize, the National Jewish Book Award, the Primo Levi prize, the Prince of Asturias Award in Literature, the Heinrich Heine Prize, and the Israel Prize.

The UC San Diego Library to excited to present an exhibit, “Amos Oz: Life and Letters,” from April 17 through June 10.  The exhibit, in the west wing of Geisel Library’s main floor, will take Oz’s “A Tale of Love and Darkness” as a springing-off point to consider the author’s life and writings, Israeli literature, and Israeli/Palestinian history and politics. Specific exhibit areas include: Oz’s early life and family history; his literary influences and the writers he has influenced; and the development of modern Hebrew as a literary language.

The Library also created a guide to help locate his books in our collections, along with suggesting resources for those interested in more in-depth research: http://libguides.ucsd.edu/amosoz

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