A World of Words
Whether by luck or judgement I don’t now remember, but I first came across the work of Amos Oz in 1984. The occasion was my sole visit to Israel, when I needed a contemporary guide, my only other literary encounter with Jewish culture having been three historical novels by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Somewhere between Singer’s nineteenth-century Poland and Oz’s modern stories came the horrors of the Nazi era: the bit of Jewish history that everyone knows and that is built into everyone’s idea of the state of Israel. It was in my mind at the time, not least because the parents of our Israeli friend bore the tattoos of the concentration camp on their forearms.