Galia Oz detailed her father’s alleged abuses in the new biography “Something Disguised as Love”, which shook the image of the novelist in Israel, considered one of the country’s greatest writers and a constant favorite for the Nobel Prize. Oz died of cancer in 2018 at the age of 79.
“During my childhood, my father beat me, cursed me and humiliated me,” she wrote. “The abuse was creative: he was pulling me around the house and throwing me out. He was yelling at me. He wasn’t losing his temper and it wasn’t an occasional slap in the face, but a routine of sadistic abuse,” she said.
“My crime was that I existed and the punishment was endless. I had to be sure I was hurt.”
Writer Yehuda Atlas, a friend of the Gaul Oz, told Army Radio: “I knew these stories. Amos Oz was our golden prince, but it seems that the moon has a dark side.”
But Oz’s widow and two other children rejected the novelist’s abusive father portrait.
“I met another father. Warm, loving, attentive, who loved his family,” widow Nili Oz wrote in a statement signed by children Fania Oz-Salzberger and Daniel Oz.
“Gaul’s allegations against him are in complete contradiction with our strong lifelong memories,” they wrote, adding that they were surprised by the accusations.
They stated that Gaul had not had contact with the family for seven years and that Oz had tried to contact her until his death and to understand the accusations against him.
“Gaul’s pain seems real and heartbreaking, but we remember it differently. Totally different,” they wrote.
Daniel Oz wrote on Facebook: “My father was not an angel, just a being and he was the best I have ever known.”
Amos Oz is Israel’s foremost prose writer and essayist. He was born in Jerusalem, his parents being from Poland and Russia. At the age of 15, he settled in the Hulda kibbutz. After graduating from the Faculty of Philosophy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he returned to the kibbutz, where he practiced agriculture and taught at the local high school until 1986, when he moved with his family to the city of Arad.
According to Humanitas, his first volume of short stories, “Where the Jackals Scream,” appeared in 1965, followed by the novel “Elsewhere Can” (1966).
In 1967 he fought in the Six Day War, and in 1973 participated in the Yom Kippur War.
After the international success of the novel “My Husband, Michael” (1968; Humanitas Fiction, 2013), the writer continued to publish fiction books: “Until Death” (1971), “Touch the Water, Touch the Wind” (1973), ” The Mountain of Evil Council “(1976; Humanitas Fiction, 2012),” Sumki “(1978; Humanitas Fiction, 2014),” Perfect Rest “(1982; Humanitas Fiction, 2011),” The Black Box “(1987; Humanitas Fiction, 2012) , “Knowing a Woman” (1989), “Fima” (1991), “Don’t Say: Night” (1994; Humanitas Fiction, 2010), “The Underground Panther” (1995; Humanitas Fiction, 2013), “The Same sea ”(1999),” The story of love and darkness “(2002; Humanitas Fiction, 2008),” Suddenly in the depths of the forest “(2005; Humanitas, 2010),” Rhymes about life and death “(2007; Humanitas Fiction, 2009 ), “Scenes of Country Life2 (2009; Humanitas Fiction, 2011),” Between Friends2 (2012; Humanitas Fiction, 2014), “Judas” (2014).
He has written literary, cultural and political essays, the best known being in “How to cure a fanatic” (2006; Humanitas Fiction, 2011), “Dear fanatics” (2017; Humanitas Fiction, 2018).
In 2012, he and his daughter, historian Fania Oz-Salzberger, published the essay “Jews and Words.”
His work has been translated into over 40 languages.
Among the more than 30 awards and distinctions received by the author are: the German Publishers’ Peace Prize (1992), the Goethe Prize (2005), the Grinzane Cavour Prize (2007), the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature (2007), the Heinrich Heine Prize ( 2008), Franz Kafka Prize (2013).
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