Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Times Literary Supplement.
Here is a story from the winter days of the end of 1959 and the beginning of 1960. It is a story of error and desire, of unrequited love, and of a religious question that remains unresolved.
Shmuel, a young, idealistic student, is drawn to a mysterious handwritten note on a campus noticeboard. This takes him to a strange house, where an elderly invalid man requires a paid companion, to argue with and read to him.
But there is someone else in the house, too... A woman, who is trailed by ghosts from her past. Shmuel is captivated by her, a sexual obsession which evolves into gentle love and devotion; and he is pulled to the old man, an intellectual obsession which also evolves into gentle love and devotion. Shmuel begins to uncover the house's tangled history and, in doing so, reaches an understanding that harks back not only to the beginning of the Jewish-Arab conflict, but also the beginning of Jerusalem itself - to Christianity, to Judaism, to Judas.
Set in the still-divided Jerusalem of 1959-60, Judas is an exquisite love story and coming-of-age tale, and a radical rethinking of the concept of treason. It is a novel steeped in desire and curiosity from one of Israel's greatest living writers.
The Man Booker International Prize judges comment: ‘A thought-provoking interrogation of history and betrayal, Judas shines with a burning curiosity and profound intelligence. Wonderfully translated by Nicholas de Lange, Judas is a delightful, cerebral feast.
Amos Oz was born in Jerusalem in 1939 and lives in Israel. He is the internationally acclaimed author of many novels and essay collections, translated into over 40 languages, including his semi-autobiographical work, A Tale of Love and Darkness. He has received several international awards, including the Prix Femina, the Israel Prize, the Goethe Prize, the Frankfurt Peace Prize and the 2013 Franz Kafka Prize.
Nicholas de Lange has been translating Amos Oz’s work since 1972, and Judas is the 17th novel by Oz that de Lange has translated. He has also translated fiction by Aharon Appelfeld, A.B. Yehoshua and S. Yizhar. He was born in Nottingham, UK in 1944, and still lives there.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 516 g
Dimensions: 240 x 161 x 27 mm
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One of the best books I've read this year. "Judas" by Oz is properly stunning - essentially a three-hander exploring Judaism and Christianity, belief and conflict, with poise and an abundance of... More
“An examination of the history of Israel”
The title suggests what the subject matter is going to be. So the first line that tells you that the story is set in the winter of 1959 takes you by the surprise. Shmuel Ash is writing his thesis on Jewish... More
“Thought-provoking and masterful”
This is my first read by Amor Oz, who is (although I didn't realise it at the time) a hugely prolific author. I found it hard to get into, and would probably not have believed you at the start if you told me I... More
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