As the most influential writer of West Asia's smallest country- Israel- the famous Hebraic writer Amos Oz was brought to Asia's biggest country - China - to introduce the Chinese version of his novel, "A Tale of Love and Darkness" to local readers at Han Fenlou bookstore near Wangfujing on September 2.
Oz, who has some 11 saga novels, such as "My Michael", "Black Box" and "Don't Call It Night" under his belt, is known as the "writer of Israel"---he has received many honours and awards during his career. He is also on a list of potential Nobel Peace Prize winners which media around the world are currently speculating about.
Amos Oz , at the ceremony of launching Chinese translation "A Tale of Love and Darkness" in Beijing. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.COM]
Amos Oz and his wife Mrs Oz. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.COM]
"A Tale of Love and Darkness", written in 2001, is considered to be Oz's best work, and has been translated into more than 20 languages within the last five years. It is an autobiography about a Jew returning home, and about the fulfilment of his dream; at once a great family saga and a magical self-portrait of a writer who witnessed the birth of a nation and lived through its turbulent history. It is the story of a boy growing up in the war-torn Jerusalem of the forties and fifties. He leaves the constraints of his family, and the local community of dreamers, scholars and failed businessmen to join a kibbutz---changing his name, he marries, has children, and finally becomes a writer as well as an active participant in the political life of Israel. This is a story of clashing cultures and lives, of suffering and perseverance, of love and darkness.
In 2005, "A Tale of Love and Darkness" helped Oz win the Goethe prize, the highest honour bestowed by the central German city of Frankfurt, which has been in existence since 1927.
"I hope you can read my works, because they describe a Israel you can hardly see from a newspaper," Oz sent an invitation to people, "I want to invite them into every corner of a stranger's home".
In "A Tale of Love and Darkness", Oz called out to his dead mother, father, grandfather and grandmother, inviting them to sit together and have a cup of coffee. He said to them, "Let's have a chat, because when you were alive, we didn't talk enough. "
Believing the Chinese translation of "A Tale of Love and Darkness" to be particularly important in bridging the two Asian civilisations of China and Israel, Oz also said he has been very impressed by Beijing and Shanghai since he arrived one week ago and is moved by the interest shown by locals towards his work.
Amos Oz was born in 1939 in Jerusalem. At the age of 15 he went to live on a kibbutz. He studied philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was a visiting fellow at Oxford University, author-in-residence at the Hebrew University and writer-in-residence at Colorado College. He has been named Officer of Arts and Letters of France. An author of prose for both children and adults, as well as an essayist, he has been widely translated and is internationally acclaimed.
CRI reporter Liu Bing had a talk with Oz after he finished signing autographs with readers at Han Fenlou bookstore in Beijing.
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