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: "Perhaps most of the essays in this book are substitutes for stories that I have not managed to write," says Amos Oz in the preface to Under This Blazing Light. Published for the first time in English, this collection of essays reveals the personal and political thoughts of Israel's most celebrated novelist. The essays in this volume put a unique perspective on the author's own experiences and development, and reveal a complex and deeply human figure of practical political influence as well as of significant literary stature. Oz's refreshing blend of skepticism and idealism will win for him new readers, while delighting those who will recognize here the qualities evident in his other writings. Relevant in light of recent developments in the Middle East, the topics covered include an examination of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a dispute between "Right and Right"; a look at the meaning of socialism in the Israeli context; reflections on the concept of "Homeland" and on the nature of the Kibbutz; and reflections on the character of Zionism. The essays also include portraits of several Jewish writers and thinkers whose ideas and themes in one way or another have proved influential or determinative for Amos Oz himself. Amos Oz is widely considered to be Israel's most famous living writer. His fifteen books include My Michael, Touch the Water, Touch the Wind, In the Land of Israel, Black Box, To Know a Woman, and Fima. His work has been translated into twenty-nine languages, and he has received several major literary awards. He is currently a Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature at Ben-Gurion University.