Arabic rights in one of the last works by the celebrated Israeli novelist and writer Amos Oz, who died on 28 December aged 79, have not yet been sold, according to his agent Charles Buchan at the Wylie Agency, who said the agency was still “reeling” from his death.
What’s in an Apple? is a collection of six conversations between Oz and the editor and television dramatist Shira Hadad, who edited a number of Oz’s books when she worked at Hebrew Literature Editor at Keter Publishing House in Jerusalem. The topics include guilt and love, and the book’s title recalls Juliet’s words to Romeo: “What’s in a name?”
The book has already been sold to Compania das Letras in Brazil, Fraktura in Croatia, Suhrkamp in Germany, Keter in Israel, Feltrinelli in Italy, De Bezige Bij in the Netherlands, Rebis in Poland and Siruela in Spain. It is out on submission in the UK and US.
Many of Oz’s books, including his memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness, have been translated into Arabic, with Beirut-based Al-Kamel being his primary publisher in recent years. His novel Judas is to be published by Al-Kamel shortly.
Oz was a prominent figure in the peace movement and opposed to Jewish settlements on the West Bank. Buchan said: “He loved seeing his works in Arabic and was very touched to receive warm responses from readers of the Arabic translation of A Tale of Love and Darkness.”
Oz lived for thirty years on a kibbutz, which influenced his socialist beliefs, and on leaving the kibbutz in 1986 became professor of Hebrew Literature at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He wrote some 40 books, including novels, short stories, essays and children’s books, and received numerous awards, among them the Peace Prize of the German book trade and the Legion of Honour in France.