An unsettling portrait of a fictional village from the Israeli master storyteller
In beautifully simple, poetic language, Amos Oz peers into the darkness of our lives.
His surreal and haunting portrait of village life in Israel is told in eight stories, with a final story from another place and a distant time. As the picture of this village takes shape, we see the same characters appearing in the stories – all of them searching for something, but in this almost dreamlike world things are left unresolved. An old man grumbles to his daughter about the unexplained digging and banging he hears under the house at night. A stranger turns up at a man’s door, to persuade him that they must get rid of his ageing mother in order to sell the house. A man goes to his neighbours for regular evenings of music and old pioneer songs, but is strangely drawn to the tragic heart of the house.
Behind each episode is another, hidden story – a glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday life.
“This is a dark book, with a dark vision of contemporary Israel… The whole, rich, disturbing mixture makes one feel as if something dark is digging away at the foundations, something unnameable ready to emerge. It is one of the most powerful books you will read about present-day Israel.”
David Herman, Jewish Chronicle