Israeli novelist Oz hopes Arabs will read memoir

JERUSALEM - The Israeli novelist Amos Oz said Thursday he hoped Arab audiences would read his memoir because of its portrayal of Israeli life in the years leading up to the birth of the Jewish state.
The autobiographical work "A Tale of Love and Darkness" has been translated into Arabic for the first time by a German publishing house and was released in Beirut last month.
"The Arab world should read this work, which can help forge links between people," the 70-year-old author told Israeli army radio.

Amos Oz
Amos Oz
"The book recounts the birth of Israel in circumstances that are not heroic. The country appears as a (Jewish) refugee camp," added Oz, a co-founder of Israel's anti-settlement Peace Now movement.
The autobiographical tale won major acclaim for its portrayal of a Jewish family in Jerusalem living through the tumultuous decades leading up to the creation of Israel in 1948 and its aftermath.
Since it was first published in Hebrew in 2003, the novel has been translated into 15 languages and gone on sale in 27 countries, with more than one million copies sold worldwide.
The translation was financed by Elias Khoury, a well-known Christian Palestinian lawyer in east Jerusalem whose son George was shot dead in 2004 by Palestinian militants who mistook him for a Jewish settler.
"The book shows how the Jewish people came to independence after all they experienced, and it should be an example for the Palestinian people," Khoury told the radio.
The Arabic version, entitled "Qussat Hobb wa Zalam" was translated by Jamil Ghanayem and published by Dar al-Jamal, an Arabic publishing house in Germany.
Two novels by Oz have previously been translated into Arabic, "My Michael," published in Egypt in 1994 and "Soumchi" in Jordan in 1997.

Friday, March 5th 2010

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