What was the secret of Grandpa’s charm? I began to understand only years later.

He possessed a quality that is hardly ever found among men, a marvelous quality that for many women is the sexiest in a man:

He listened.

He did not just politely pretend to listen, while impatiently waiting for her to finish what she was saying and shut up.

He did not break into his partner’s sentence and finish it for her.

He did not cut in to sum up what she was saying so as to move on to another subject.

He did not let his interlocutress talk into thin air while he prepared in his head the reply he would make when she finally finished.

He did not pretend to be interested or entertained, he really was. Nu, what: he had an inexhaustible curiosity.

He was not impatient. He did not attempt to deflect the conversation from her petty concerns to his own important ones.

On the contrary: he loved her concerns. He always enjoyed waiting for her, and if she needed to take her time he took pleasure in all her contortions.

He was in no hurry, and he never rushed her. He would wait for her to finish, and even when she had finished, he did not pounce or grab but enjoyed waiting in case there was something more, in case she was carried along on another wave.

He loved to let her take him by the hand and lead him to her own places, at her own pace. He loved to be her accompanist.

He loved getting to know her. He loved to understand, to get to the bottom of her. And beyond.

A Tale of Love and Darkness

A Tale of Love and Darkness is a memoir by the Israeli author Amos Oz (4 May 1939 – 28 December 2018), first published in Hebrew in 2002.

Amos Oz was an Israeli writer, novelist, journalist, and intellectual.

He was the author of 40 books, including novels, short story collections, children’s books, and essays, and his work has been published in 45 languages, more than that of any other Israeli writer.

He was the recipient of many honours and awards, among them the Legion of Honour of France, the Israel Prize, the Goethe Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award in Literature, the Heinrich Heine Prize, and the Franz Kafka Prize.

Oz is regarded as one of „Israel’s most prolific writers and respected intellectuals“, as The New York Times worded it in an obituary.

A Tale of Love and Darkness has been translated into 28 languages and over a million copies have been sold worldwide.

In 2011, a bootleg Kurdish translation was found in a bookstore in northern Iraq. Oz was reportedly delighted.