This brilliant new novel by one of Israel's foremost writers and longtime left-wing political activists (often himself called a traitor) weaves together the stories of two "traitors" whose characterization as such, in Oz's telling, becomes much less clear: the biblical Judas, and a fictional early Zionist who was thrown out of the Zionist Congress because he advocated a unified Jewish-Arab state instead of what became modern Israel. The result is a nuanced story which manages to be full of ideas and philosophy while never being boring or pedantic.
SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE
Winner of the International Literature Prize, the new novel by Amos Oz is his first full-length work since the best-selling A Tale of Love and Darkness.
Jerusalem, 1959. Shmuel Ash, a biblical scholar, is adrift in his young life when he finds work as a caregiver for a brilliant but cantankerous old man named Gershom Wald. There is, however, a third, mysterious presence in his new home. Atalia Abarbanel, the daughter of a deceased Zionist leader, a beautiful woman in her forties, entrances young Shmuel even as she keeps him at a distance. Piece by piece, the old Jerusalem stone house, haunted by tragic history and now home to the three misfits and their intricate relationship, reveals its secrets.
At once an exquisite love story and coming-of-age novel, an allegory for the state of Israel and for the biblical tale from which it draws its title, Judas is Amos Oz's most powerful novel in decades.