Rhyming Life and Death: Book summary and reviews of Rhyming Life and Death by Amos Oz

Rhyming Life and Death

By Amos Oz

Rhyming Life and Death
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2009,
    120 pages.

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Book Summary

An ingenious, witty, behind-the-scenes novel about eight hours in the life of an author.

A literary celebrity is in Tel Aviv on a stifling hot night to give a reading from his new book.While the obligatory inane questions ("Why do you write? What is it like to be famous? Do you write with a pen or on a computer?) are being asked and answered, his attention wanders and he begins to invent lives for the strangers he sees around him. Among them are Yakir Bar-Orian Zhitomirski, a self-styled literary guru; Tsefania Beit-Halachmi, a poet (whose work provides the novel’s title); and Rochele Reznik, a professional reader, with whom the Author has a brief but steamy sexual skirmish; to say nothing of Ricky the waitress, the real object of his desire. One life story builds on another—and the author finds himself unexpectedly involved with his creations.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Stamped with Oz's charm and graceful skill in creating rich characters, this is a must for any fan." - Publishers Weekly.

"As Oz reminds us throughout this spellbinding fable, readers are partners with novelists in this enterprise of fiction, imagining in our heads what exists only as words on a page." - Kirkus Reviews.

" This postmodern novella could be the sherbet between courses for the accomplished Oz—and his readers." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Amos Oz Author Biography

Born Amos Klausner in Jerusalem in 1939, his parents were right-wing Zionists who had recently immigrated from Eastern Europe. His father, Yehuda Arieh Klausner, was a librarian and a scholar, and his mother, Fania Mussman, suffered from depression and committed suicide when Oz was only twelve. In an interview with The Huffington Post (2009), Oz describes that time in his life:

"I was very angry with her... I was very angry with my father, I was very angry with myself. I blamed every one of us for the calamity... There was not a drop of compassion in me. Nor did I miss her. I did not grieve at my mother's death. I was too hurt and angry for any other emotion to remain... [it was only] when I reached the age when I could be my parents' parents [that] I could look at them with a ...

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Name Pronunciation
Amos Oz: "a-mos (a is pronounced as in apple)" oh-zz

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