Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Amos Oz for Nobel?

Apparently, Amos Oz, one of Israel’s most influential and well-known writers is on the short list to receive this year’s Nobel Prize.

Oz, as well as being the author of over 26 works of fiction and nonfiction, was one of the first Israelis to advocate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and also founded the political party Peace Now in the late 70s. More recently, he, along with other dovish leaders and thinkers, founded a new political party with the objective of gathering and solidifying resources aimed at creating peace with the Palestinians. There is a lot more information on Amos Oz available online. And if you haven't read any of his work, I'd recommend "A Tale of Love and Darkness," his memoir of growing up in Jerusalem. Of his fiction, I particularly liked "My Michael," and "To Know a Woman."

In Israel, writers are quite influential politically. David Grossman, A. B. Yehoshua, and Amos Oz are regularly interviewed by the media, reported on, and their opinions widely circulated. Politicians court their opinion, invite them to their homes, and are quick to circulate their views (when such views match their own, of course). When David Grossman lost one of his sons, a tank commander, in the Second Lebanon War, one of the first to visit and offer condolences was the then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert along with his daughter.

Amos Oz is an amazing writer and seems, to me, a thoughtful and compassionate person. I hope he wins. Here is a very interesting and nuanced interview from YouTube, originally aired on Al Jazeera, of Amos Oz from February of this year.

1 comment:

  1. I think you might be interested in what A.B. Yehoshua has to say about Americans for Peace Now...a pro-Israel pro-Peace organization.