Amos Oz, Israeli Author and Peace Advocate, Dies at 79

JERUSALEM — Amos Oz, the renowned author whose work captured the characters and landscapes of the young state of Israel and who matured into a leading moral voice and an advocate for peace with the Palestinians, died on Friday. He was 79.

His death, from cancer, was announced by one of his daughters, Fania Oz-Salzberger, who wrote on Twitter that he had died “after a speedy deterioration, in his sleep.”

Mr. Oz had been living in Tel Aviv.

One of Israel’s most prolific writers, he published more than a dozen novels, including “My Michael” and “Black Box,” as well as collections of short fiction, works of nonfiction and many essays, and his writing was translated into more than 35 languages.

Born Amos Klausner on May 4, 1939, into a staunchly right-wing Zionist family, he spent his early years in Jerusalem, then part of Palestine under British rule. His mother committed suicide when he was 12.

At 14 he moved to Kibbutz Hulda, swapping the suffocating, book-crammed apartment of his childhood for fresh air and a communal life. There he changed his surname to Oz, Hebrew for courage.

The hardy, pioneering characters of the Socialist kibbutz movement later inhabited some of his novels.

His acclaimed memoir, “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” was first published in Hebrew in 2002 and became an international best-seller.

He is survived by his wife, Nily Zuckerman and their three children, Fania, Galia and Daniel.

A complete obituary will appear shortly.

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