Entertainment

Amos Oz: Acclaimed Israeli author dies at 79

Amos OzImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Oz’s novels were translated into more than 40 languages

Amos Oz, the leading Israeli author and a prominent advocate for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, has died of cancer at the age of 79.

His most acclaimed works included the best-selling 2002 autobiographical novel A Tale of Love and Darkness.

It was adapted for the big screen in 2015, directed by Natalie Portman.

Oz’s support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict led some to brand him a traitor, which he said he wore “as a badge of honour”.

The news of his death was announced by his daughter, historian Fania Oz-Salzberger.

“My beloved father passed away from cancer, just now, after a rapid deterioration, when he was sleeping at peace, surrounded by the people who love him,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Please respect our privacy. I will not be able to comment. Thank you to those who loved him.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Oz’s novel A Tale of Love and Darkness was adapted for the big screen, directed by and starring Natalie Portman

Oz was one of Israel’s most widely-read and best-known writers, winning awards including the Israel Prize, the German Heinrich Heine prize, the French Legion d’Honeur and a membership of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His books have been translated into 45 languages and he was often tipped as a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

He was born Amos Klausner in Jerusalem in 1939, and the city would provide a canvas for many of his works. His breakthrough novel, 1968’s My Michael, was written while he worked in a kibbutz and describes the love and marriage of a young woman against the background of 1950s Jerusalem.

Referring to A Tale of Love and Darkness, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said: “It was a tale of love and light, and now, a great darkness.

“Rest in peace, dear Amos. You gave us great pleasure.”

BBC News producer Gidi Kleiman said the author was “a voice for liberal Israel and the search for peace with the Palestinians”.

Author and journalist Jonathan Freedland added that Oz was “a guiding light to all those who longed for a just Israel, living in peace with its neighbours”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-46700471

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