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Amos Oz

(1939 - )

Amos Oz is an Israeli author, journalist and intellectual. He is currently a professor of literature at Ben-Gurion University.

Oz (born May 4, 1939) was born in Jerusalem during the British Mandate. At the age of 15 he went to live on a kibbutz and he later studied philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After graduating, Oz was a visiting fellow at Oxford University, author-in- residence at the Hebrew University and writer-in-residence at Colorado College. He was also named Officer of Arts and Letters of France.

An author of prose for both children and adults, as well as an essayist, Oz has been widely translated and is internationally acclaimed. He has been honoured with the French Prix Femina and the 1992 Frankfurt Peace Prize.

Oz rooted his writing in the tempestuous history of his homeland. Through his writing, both fiction and nonfiction, runs a common thread: examining human nature, recognizing its frailty but glorying in its variety, Oz consistently makes the plea for an end to ambivalence, for dialogue, for a channelling of passions towards faith in the future. With an economy of words, Oz presents the people of Israel, its political tribulations and biblical landscape. Newsweek writes, “Eloquent, humane, even religious in the deepest sense, [Oz] emerges as a kind of Zionist Orwell: a complex man obsessed with simple decency and determined above all to tell the truth, regardless of whom it offends.”

In 2005, Oz was voted the 41st-greatest Israeli of all time in a poll conducted by Yediot Ahronoth.

Sources: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Wikipedia