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“Scenes from Village Life is like a symphony, its movements more impressive together than in isolation. There is, in each story, a particular chord or strain; but taken together, these chords rise and reverberate, evoking an unease so strong it’s almost a taste in the mouth . . . Scenes from Village Life is a brief collection, but its brevity is a testament to its force. You will not soon forget it.”—New York Times Book Review
Strange things are happening in Tel Ilan, a century-old pioneer village. A disgruntled retired politician complains to his daughter that he hears the sound of digging at night. Could it be their tenant, that young Arab? But then the young Arab hears the digging sounds too. And where has the mayor’s wife gone, vanished without a trace, her note saying “Don’t worry about me”?
Around the village, the veneer of new wealth—gourmet restaurants, art galleries, a winery—barely conceals the scars of war and of past generations: disused air-raid shelters, rusting farm tools, and trucks left wherever they stopped. Scenes From Village Life is a memorable novel in stories by the inimitable Amos Oz: a brilliant, unsettling glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday life.
Translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange
“Finely wrought . . . Oz writes characterizations that are subtle but surgically precise, rendering this work a powerfully understated treatment of an uneasy Israeli conscience." —Publishers Weekly, starred
“Informed by everything, weighed down by nothing, this is an exquisite work of art.”—The Scotsman
About the Author
AMOS OZ (1939 – 2018) was born in Jerusalem. He was the recipient of the Prix Femina, the Frankfurt Peace Prize, the Goethe Prize, the Primo Levi Prize, and the National Jewish Book Award, among other international honors. His work has been translated into forty-four languages.
NICHOLAS DE LANGE is a professor at the University of Cambridge and a renowned translator. He has translated Amos Oz’s work since the 1960s.
"Finely wrought... Oz writes characterizations that are subtle but surgically precise, rendering this work a powerfully understated treatment of an uneasy Israeli conscience."
-Publishers Weekly, starred "Highly recommended."
-Library Journal, starred
UK Praise for SCENES FROM VILLAGE LIFE:
"An impressive and very affecting achievement...These stories, in their humanity, may do more for Israel than any of the decisions we have been led to expect of its leaders in the months to come."
"One of the most powerful books you will read about present-day Israel."