Tributes paid to 'unique' Amos Oz

Tributes paid to 'unique' Amos Oz

Tributes have been paid to Israeli author Amos Oz, who has died of cancer, aged 79, with his friend and fellow author David Grossman saying "there was only one like him".

Oz was a prominent advocate for peace between Israel and the Palestiniants. His most acclaimed works included the best-selling 2002 autobiographical novel A Tale of Love and Darkness (Vintage) and his books have been translated into 45 languages

Grossman told the Observer: "There will not be another Amos Oz, there was only one like him. You can say this about every human being, of course, but there was something unique about Amos.

"Those who appreciated him - and not only appreciated but needed his clear, sharp voice - have lost someone who made their lives better. When a person like Amos - a man of such grandeur, and I don't say that easily - passes away, the world is diminished a little, it's narrowed down a little."

​Oz's daughter, historian Fania Oz-Salzberger, said her father died on Friday 28th December. Confirming the news on Twitter, she wrote: "My beloved father passed away from cancer, just now, after a rapid deterioration, when he was sleeping at peace, surrounded by the people who love them. Please respect our privacy. I will not be able to comment. Thank you to those who loved him."

Born Amos Klausner in Jerusalem in 1939, his breakthrough novel My Michael in 1968 was written while he worked in a kibbutz. His 19 works of fiction, hundreds of essays and articles saw him tipped for the Nobel prize for literature.

He was best known for novels including In The Land of Israel and Black Box. He won awards including the Israel Prize, French Legion d'Honeur and the German Heinrich Heine prize. Oz was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His books have been translated into 45 languages.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, referring to A Tale of Love and Darkness, said: "It was a tale of love and light, and now, a great darkness. Rest in peace, dear Amos. You gave us great pleasure."