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From My Bookshelf: Between Friends, by Amos Oz

BetweenFriendsI’ve only read smatterings of the work of Amos Oz, a weakness that I hope to rectify asap. I’m motivated by my recent reading of Between Friends, a story collection (translated by Sondra Silverston) that will certainly rank among the very best books that I’ve read this year.

The book comprises eight linked stories featuring characters who live on the same (fictional) kibbutz circa the 1950s. I borrowed the book from the library, but I may have to buy a copy of my own. In the meantime, eager to at least sample as much of Oz’s oeuvre as I can, I’ve ordered The Amos Oz Reader (edited by Nitza Ben Dov and tanslated by Nicholas de Lange), and I can’t wait to dive in.

Instead of attempting a full-fledged review, I’ll point you to some perspectives that echo many of mine. To wit: Marie’s take on The Boston Bibliophile and Ranen Omer-Sherman’s Forward review.

If you’re a New Yorker subscriber, you can find the book’s opening story, “The King of Norway,” in the magazine’s archive. Similarly, Harper’s subscribers have access to the second story, “Two Women.” (I’m disappointed that I can’t find the concluding story, “Esperanto,” online; it is, in my view, exceptionally good as a standalone piece as well as a perfect wrap-up for the linked collection.) And available to all: Tablet magazine’s superb interview with Oz, on the occasion of this book’s release.

Have any of you read Between Friends? And do you have any special suggestions as I attempt to consume as much of Oz’s writing as I can?

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  1. I’m so glad you have found Amos Oz. He is one of my favorite writers (and I have also heard him speak, with great pleasure and interest.) I’ve read several of his books. On my shortlist of best books ever is “A Tale of Love and Darkness.” Try it, you’ll love it!

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