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Amos Oz

Oz, Amos, 1939–, Israeli writer, b. Jerusalem as Amos Klausner. As a teenager he changed his name to Oz, Hebrew for "strength." A former kibbutz member, Israeli soldier, and schoolteacher, he is is one of Israel's major novelists. Written in Hebrew, richly atmospheric and often poetic, his fiction explores the conflicts and tensions in Israeli society, ranging from religious beliefs to the practical demands of modern life. His novels include My Michael (1968, tr. 1972), Touch the Water, Touch the Wind (1973, tr. 1974), To Know a Woman (1989, tr. 1991), Panther in the Basement (1995, tr. 1997), and The Same Sea (1999, tr. 2001), a blend of prose and poetry. He is also the author of several volumes of short stories and the novella Rhyming Life and Death (2007, tr. 2009). A collection of essays (1962–79) was published in translation as Under This Blazing Light (1995); he has also written other nonfiction works dealing with Israel's past and present and frequently reflecting his liberal Zionist views.

See his memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness (2003, tr. 2004); N. Ben-Dov, ed., The Amos Oz Reader (2009); studies by A. Balaban (1993) and Y. Mazor (2002).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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