JERUSALEM – Amos Oz, an Israeli award-winning author and political activist, died on Friday at the age of 79 years, his daughter said.
Oz, born on May 4, 1939, was considered among the most prominent Israeli author of his time and his works have been translated into 45 languages.
“My beloved father, Amos Oz, a wonderful family man, an author, a man of peace and moderation, died today peacefully after a short battle with cancer,” tweeted Fania Oz-Salzberg, the writer’s daughter.
“He was surrounded by his lovers and knew it to the end. May his good legacy continue to amend the world,” she added.
Born Amos Klausner to cultured and multilingual Jewish migrants in Jerusalem – a Lithuanian father and Polish mother –, Oz was only allowed to talk Hebrew even though he was raised in a household where religion was not considered important.
After Oz’s mother committed suicide when he was only 12, he fled to a kibbutz – collectives with a belief in reestablishing Jewish communities in Israel that focus primarily on agriculture – in central Israel where he started to write and work the land.
“He created intense, intimate worlds in taut prose that was endlessly evocative,” author Jonathan Freedland tweeted.
“When he was urged to go into politics, he always gave the same answer: ‘But who would tell my stories for me?’”
Oz published many novels, short stories, collections of articles, essays and two children’s books.
He was awarded several prizes including the Goethe Prize and the Prince of Asturias Award in Literature.
His most acclaimed books include “Black Box,” “In the Land of Israel” and his autobiographical work, “A Tale of Love and Darkness.”
The writer became well-known for promoting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, views that he outlined in an article published in a newspaper in 1967.