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Scenes from Village Life
Synopses & Reviews
“Scenes from Village Life is like a symphony, its movements more impressive together than in isolation. There is, in each story, a particular chord or strain; but taken together, these chords rise and reverberate, evoking an unease so strong it’s almost a taste in the mouth . . . Scenes from Village Life is a brief collection, but its brevity is a testament to its force. You will not soon forget it.”—New York Times Book Review
Strange things are happening in Tel Ilan, a century-old pioneer village. A disgruntled retired politician complains to his daughter that he hears the sound of digging at night. Could it be their tenant, that young Arab? But then the young Arab hears the digging sounds too. And where has the mayor’s wife gone, vanished without a trace, her note saying “Don’t worry about me”?
Around the village, the veneer of new wealth—gourmet restaurants, art galleries, a winery—barely conceals the scars of war and of past generations: disused air-raid shelters, rusting farm tools, and trucks left wherever they stopped. Scenes From Village Life is a memorable novel in stories by the inimitable Amos Oz: a brilliant, unsettling glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday life.
Translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange
“Finely wrought . . . Oz writes characterizations that are subtle but surgically precise, rendering this work a powerfully understated treatment of an uneasy Israeli conscience." —Publishers Weekly, starred
“Informed by everything, weighed down by nothing, this is an exquisite work of art.”—The Scotsman
A novel in stories by acclaimed Israeli author Amos Oz.
An ingenious, witty, behind-the-scenes novel about eight hours in the life of an author.
A literary celebrity is in Tel Aviv on a stifling hot night to give a reading from his new book.While the obligatory inane questions ("Why do you write? What is it like to be famous? Do you write with a pen or on a computer?) are being asked and answered, his attention wanders and he begins to invent lives for the strangers he sees around him. Among them are Yakir Bar-Orian Zhitomirski, a self-styled literary guru; Tsefania Beit-Halachmi, a poet (whose work provides the novels title); and Rochele Reznik, a professional reader, with whom the Author has a brief but steamy sexual skirmish; to say nothing of Ricky the waitress, the real object of his desire. One life story builds on another—and the author finds himself unexpectedly involved with his creations.
A rich and varied selection of writings — from the early sixties to the present — by Amos Oz, one of Israels leading novelists, public intellectuals, and political activists.
The Reader features extensive excerpts from the entire range of Oz's career, loosely grouped into four themes which Oz's work has consistently reflected: the kibbutz, the city of Jerusalem, the idea of "promised land", and his own life story. Editor Nitza ben-Dov has included extracts from a career-spanning range of Oz's novels, among them WHERE THE JACKALS HOWL, ELSEWHERE PERHAPS, A PERFECT PEACE, MY MICHAEL, CRUSADE, FIMA, BLACK BOX, and TO KNOW A WOMAN. Nonfiction is represented by selections from UNDER THIS BLAZING LIGHT, THE SLOPES OF LEBANON, IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL, and Ozs recent masterpiece, A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS. Brought together thus, we can see how firmly grounded all of his writing is in the Israeli reality he knows so intimately and about which he feels so passionately — the Jerusalem of his childhood, the kibbutz where he lived and worked for many years, the landscape and politics of the land of Israel.
THE AMOS OZ READER is an invaluable introduction to the work of one of the most highly regarded writers in the world today.
A couple, long married, are spending an unaccustomed week apart. Ya'ari, an engineer, is busy juggling the day-to-day needs of his elderly father, his children, and his grandchildren. His wife, Daniela, flies from Tel Aviv to East Africa to mourn the death of her older sister. There she confronts her anguished brother-in-law, Yirmiyahu, whose soldier son was killed six years earlier in the West Bank by friendly fire." Yirmiyahu is now managing a team of African researchers digging for the bones of mans primate ancestors as he desperately strives to detach himself from every shred of his identity, Jewish and Israeli.
With great artistry, A. B. Yehoshua has once again written a rich, compassionate, rewarding novel in which sharply rendered details of modern Israeli life and age-old mysteries of human existence echo one another in complex and surprising ways.
"Sensuous prose and indelible imagery." — New York Times Three stories in which history and imagination intertwine to re-create the world of Jerusalem during the last days of the British Mandate. Refugees drawn to Jerusalem in search of safety are confronted by activists relentlessly preparing for an uprising, oblivious to the risks. Meanwhile, a wife abandons her husband, and a dying man longs for his departed lover. Among these characters lives a boy named Uri, a friend and confidant of several conspirators who love and humor him as he weaves in and out of all three stories. The Hill of Evil Counsel is "as complex, vivid, and uncompromising as Jerusalem itself" (Nation).
About the Author
AMOS OZ is a world-renowned novelist and essayist whose books include My Michael, To Know a Woman, Don't Call It Night, and The Same Sea. Most recently, his memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness, received the Koret Jewish Book Award.
Table of Contents
Heirs • 1
Relations • 19
Digging • 39
Lost • 83
Waiting • 109
Strangers • 129
Singing • 153
In a faraway place at another time • 175
What Our Readers Are Saying