Scenes from Village Life
Publication Date: October 2011
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“Informed by everything, weighed down by nothing, this is an exquisite work of art.” —The Scotsman
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. Where has the mayor’s wife gone, vanished without 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
Nicholas de Lange is Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies in the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge. A distinguished scholar and translator, he is author of The Penguin Dictionary of Judaism (2008), Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide (2005) edited with Miri Freud-Kandel, and of an edited translation of Colette Sirat's Hebrew Manuscripts of the Middle Ages (2002, 2008).