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Even an annus horribilis can be redeemed if it contains a new Amos Oz novel. “Judas” was a quiet piece with a small ensemble roaming familiar Jerusalem streets, yet its deceptively simple structure hid multitudes. It wrestled with enormous ideas about love and loneliness, grief and treachery, presented with Oz’s characteristic mix of beauty, compassion, and wandering restlessness. After several years away, it was a pleasure to read Oz at novelistic length once more, and as when Saul Bellow gave the world “Ravelstein” aged eighty-four, what Oz has authored at 77 is quite remarkable.

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