A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz

By Amos Oz

Tragic, comedian, and totally sincere, this bestselling and seriously acclaimed new paintings via "one of Israel's so much talented and prolific authors" (Helen Epstein, The ahead) is right now a kin saga and a paranormal self-portrait of a author who witnessed the beginning of a country and lived via its turbulent history.

It is the tale of a boy becoming up within the war-torn Jerusalem of the 40's and fifties, in a small house crowded with books in twelve languages and kin talking approximately as many. the tale of a youngster whose existence has been replaced ceaselessly by way of his mother's suicide while he was once twelve years previous. the tale of a guy who leaves the limitations of his kinfolk and its neighborhood of dreamers, students, and failed businessmen to affix a kibbutz, swap his identify, marry, have kids. the tale of a author who turns into an energetic player within the political lifetime of his country.

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Sample text

What for? Because the deceitful British and the corrupt effendis had set him against us? No. this time we would definitely buy the cheese from the Arab village, which incidentally really did taste better than the Tnuva cheese, and cost a little less in the bargain. But still, on the third hand, what if the Arab cheese wasn't clean? Who knew what the dairies were like there? What if it turned out, too late, that their cheese was full of germs? Germs were one of our worst nightmares. They were like anti-Semitism: you never actually managed to set eyes on an anti-Semite or a germ, but you knew very well that they were lying in wait for you on every side, out of sight.

My parents slept on a sofa bed that filled their room almost from wall to wall when it was opened up each evening. Early every morning they used to shut away this bed deep into itself, hide the bedclothes in the chest underneath, turn the mattress over, press it all tight shut, and conceal the whole under a light gray cover, then scatter a few embroidered oriental cushions on top, so that all evidence of their night's sleep disappeared. in this way their bedroom also served as study, library, dining room, and living room.

Writers are not hard to kill either. But not books: however systematically you try to destroy them, there is always a chance that a copy will survive and continue to enjoy a shelf life in some corner of an out-of-the-way library somewhere, in Reykjavik, Valladolid, or Vancouver. If once or twice it happened that there was not enough money to buy food for Shabbat, my mother would look at Father, and Father would understand that the moment had come to make a sacrifice, and turn to the bookcase. He was an ethical man, and he knew that bread takes precedence over books and that the good of the child takes precedence over everything.

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