Israeli novelist, Israel Prize Laureate
Born in Jerusalem, Amos Oz left the capital and was educated on Kibbutz Hulda where he lived for many years, and where he began professional life as a teacher, before leaving to engage full time in his writing. Many of his stories are set either on a kibbutz or in Jerusalem, both of which he presents as microcosms of Israeli society. His stories are known to challenge the notion of order and decency in both settings.
His early books of short stories, "Where Jackals Howl" and "Elsewhere" perhaps take place on a kibbutz, while "My Michael," which takes place in Jerusalem, includes hallucinations and fears which are understood to be a metaphor for pre-Six Day War fears.
Oz also writes about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. While "Until Death" is preoccupied with anti-Semitism, "Touch the Water, Touch the Wind" describes the postwar lives of two extraordinary Holocaust survivors who meet and fall in love on a kibbutz.
Strongly identified with the Israeli left, Oz appeals for a reasoned approach in evaluating Israel's history and politics. His views on war and peace are presented in "In the Land of Israel," a compilation of articles written for an Israeli newspaper, based on interviews he conducted while traveling around the country, and he has been interviewed frequently. As one of the founders and leading figures in the Israeli 'Peace Now' movement since 1977, his articles, essays and political activities have made him a foremost figure in Israel. He remains deeply engaged in political dialogue and the peace movement.
Amos Oz' books have been widely translated into many languages, and this remains an ongoing project. He has been Visiting Professor and Writer in Residence at various leading universities around the world, holds three honorary Israeli and foreign doctorates and has received many international prizes, including for children's literature. From 1987-2005, he was a full Professor and holds the Agnon Chair of Hebrew Literature at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Beer-Sheva. In 1991, he was elected a full member of the Academy of the Hebrew Language. Amos was awarded his country’s most prestigious prize: the Israel Prize for Literature in 1998, the fiftieth anniversary year of Israel’s independence.
Oz is also the recipient of some recent first flight international awards. He won the Goethe Prize in 2005 and Spain's Prince of Asturias Prize in 2007. In December 2008, the city of Dusseldorf awarded him the Heinrich Heine Prize for tolerance, human rights and mutual understanding of peoples in combining, "literary creativity with political sensibility and humanistic commitment."
Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature http://www.ithl.org.il/author_info.asp?id=194
Documentary film http://www.ruthfilms.com/html/a/fs_amos_oz_a.html
Amos Oz Archive at Ben Gurion University:
- Biography http://www.bgu.ac.il/aranne/Amos_oz/bioen.htm
- Books in Englishhttp://www.bgu.ac.il/aranne/Amos_oz/booksen.htm
Writing the Israeli Paradox: Online Exhibit http://www.uwm.edu/Library/special/exhibits/oz/main.htm
2008, Acceptance of Heine Prize: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1046175.html
2007, Prince of Asturias Foundation Prize (with acceptance speech): http://www.fundacionprincipedeasturias.org/ing/04/premiados/trayectorias/trayectoria819.html
Tales of Love and Darkness:
Arabic translations http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1018892.html
Natalie Portman considers directing film http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/823661.html
Alien City (translation, Ariel Journal)
Interviews & Articles:
New York Times interviews and reviews http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/10/26/home/oz.html
Newsweek (2008) http://www.newsweek.com/id/111803
Free at last (2005) http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3130842,00.html
Coping with Conflict (Transcript, Audio)
Article (2002) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/apr/07/israel3