Amos Oz (2539 words)

  • Anna Bernard (King's College London )

In Amos Oz’s epic memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness (Sipur al Ahava ve-Choshech, 2002), Oz describes a post-World War II Jerusalem populated by anxious and impoverished European Jews, living under a British-imposed curfew and behind iron window grates, who spend their time “bent over a sheet of paper, correcting, erasing, writing, and polishing” (298). Observing the adults’ behaviour, the young Amos decides that when he grows up, he wants to “be a book”:

Not a writer but a book. And that was from fear.
Because it was slowly dawning on those whose families had not arrived in Israel that the Germans had killed them all…. And who knew what the British might do to us before they …

Bernard, Anna. "Amos Oz". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 December 2010
[, accessed 28 October 2016.]