Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
A Tale of Love and Darkness Paperback – November 1, 2005
|New from||Used from|
Find Rare and Collectible Books
Discover rare, signed and first edition books on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This memoir/family history brims over with riches: metaphors and poetry, drama and comedy, failure and success, unhappy marriages and a wealth of idiosyncratic characters. Some are lions of the Zionist movement—David Ben-Gurion (before whom a young Oz made a terrifying command appearance), novelist S.Y. Agnon, poet Saul Tchernikhovsky—others just neighbors and family friends, all painted lovingly and with humor. Though set mostly during the author's childhood in Jerusalem of the 1940s and '50s, the tale is epic in scope, following his ancestors back to Odessa and to Rovno in 19th-century Ukraine, and describing the anti-Semitism and Zionist passions that drove them with their families to Palestine in the early 1930s. In a rough, dusty, lower-middle-class suburb of Jerusalem, both of Oz's parents found mainly disappointment: his father, a scholar, failed to attain the academic distinction of his uncle, the noted historian Joseph Klausner. Oz's beautiful, tender mother, after a long depresson, committed suicide when Oz (born in 1939) was 12. By the age of 14, Oz was ready to flee his book-crammed, dreary, claustrophobic flat for the freedom and outdoor life of Kibbutz Hulda. Oz's personal trajectory is set against the background of an embattled Palestine during WWII, the jubilation after the U.N. vote to partition Palestine and create a Jewish state, the violence and deprivations of Israel's war of independence and the months-long Arab siege of Jerusalem. This is a powerful, nimbly constructed saga of a man, a family and a nation forged in the crucible of a difficult, painful history.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
An international novelist of stature, Oz makes an assured leap to autobiography and is greeted with reverence and awe. Aware of the universality of his story, he enlists excerpts from the diaries of friends and relatives to provide a broader context. He also forgoes tying his narrative to a strict timeline, opting instead for a circular approach. Settings and characters bear the vibrant imprint of his descriptive skills. For all the praise, a few devils advocates lurk out thereDavid Cesarini of The Independent calls the prose "dense almost liturgical"but even he concedes that its an impressive piece of work. It is rare for a fiction writers life to be more dramatic than his novels, but such is the case with Oz.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
A bildungsroman... a family saga... a memoir about growing up in the newly formed state of Israel, A Tale of Love and darkness held me from the opening sentence to the last.
A non-jew, I have never understood the relentless persecution of the Jews over the centuries and I have always believed in their right to a homeland.
Oz is an intellectual and free thinker and acknowledges throughout the book the suffering of the Arabs as well as the Israelis. He describes his thoughts as a child from a right wing family when he is obviously influenced by the opinions of the adult world he is surrounded by, to later in life when he joins a kibbutz and discovers his own sense of morality.
Life was harsh and frightening for everyone in those early days of building a new nation from scratch under the hostile, unfriendly eyes of the British
with never-ending threats of attacks from the surrounding Arab nations and none more so than for someone like Oz's mother. A beauty from a privileged background in Eastern Europe, well educated and speaking several languages, she must have felt the weight of being plunged into the struggle in those early days of Israel. Relegated to household chores and mandanity for her entire life, taking a backseat to her scholarly husband and the other male members of their community I can understand to a degree how unhappy she must have been. She loses herself in fanciful tales she relates to her young son and maintains a close friendship with girls from the same school and background in Eastern Europe. Her story touched me deeply.
Overall this is a story of great understanding and compassion, of intelligent observation, and deep thought.
Although it is rather a large book I could have gone on reading. A powerful story told against the backdrop of one of the most enterprising and courageous and yet sad and problematic situations in history, that still makes the headlines on a daily basis.
I encourage you to read this magnificent story of the making of Israel and the people who struggled to make it happen.
Oz's account of life in Jerusalem will make you laugh, cry and feel deep compassion for the early settlers who lived and died through the War of Independence in 1948. This was a time when Jerusalemites could be killed purposefully by the enemy for emerging from the house simply to bring in the laundry or to play with a toy in the backyard.
You will feel the agony of young Amos, who, even unto manhood, endeavours to come to terms with why his mother chose suicide. She may have been manic depressive, decades before such a condition was recognized and treated.
Oz is a writer's writer. He inspires admiration and envy in any writer with his use of language, so rich in description, so capable of expressing humour, gentleness, affection, poignancy and nostalgia.
Opposed to the heart-rending account of his mother is the humour which is at times outrageously funny, for instance in his portrayals of Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin. The Begin account in particular brought so many tears to my eyes from laughter that I had to keep wiping them away in order to see what I was reading. Briefly, he tells of the time he and his grandfather were in an auditorium to hear Begin orate. It seems that old Biblial Hebrew had changed to a much more compatible version of Hebrew to be used for everyday life. This was the new Hebrew that the young Sabras (born in Israel) were using. But not Menachem Begin who continued to plow on in old Hebrew. The word for "arm" as in armament, had changed in the new Hebrew to mean something to do with the F word. Begin plowed on, loudly asking who was arming nations, and asking who would arms the Israelis! What the boy heard was the F word, over and over again. The young boy could not contain himself and burst into hilarious laughter, which he couldn't control. To make matters worse, they were sitting in the VIP seats at the front of the auditorium. Out his goes in a flash, being dragged by the ear by grandpop.
Amos Oz came from a family of scholars and writers. He wanted to be a writer. For a while in his teens he thought one had to live an adventurous like in great cities such as Paris (the Hemingway influence) to become a writer. Then he happened to read the Ohio stories by Sherwood Anderson. He realized that a writer writes what a writer knows. S/he writes about everyday people involved in everyday events, the spirit of the place, the hopes, the struggles, the ongoing dreams and the aborted dreams.
Along the way, Oz creates great literature: a veritable feast for the reader.
The book is brilliantly translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange, who is professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Cambridge University, England. De Lange is also an ordained Reform Rabbi. He received the Risa Domb/Porjes Prize for his translation of "A Tale of Love and Darkness."
I am one of those voracious readers who devours books. This one, this "A Tale of Love and Darkness" - this one I read slowly, in order to savour every precious word.
Many, many paragraphs are studies in how to write, how to draw out emotion in readers, how to talk about, how to find the right tone for narrating events that have been damaging to the speaker, and how to reveal the worst thing of all - shame.
This memoir is a masterwork, and for people - like me - who know the bare-bones history of the creation of the State of Israel, but never deeply considered the emotions - especially the chasmic gap between what was promised back home in Galicia and the reality, the politics, the poverty, the shortage of work for a million refugee intellectuals with three million opinions, as well as the interminable waiting, waiting, Oz's book is an education. It has helped me better understand some of my friends who lived through this history. Five stars!