Do not be misled by the modest title - this book is part and parcel of this great writer's main work. The stories are written as memoirs spanning from his school days during the British Mandate to his teaching career at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Yizhar paints a fresh and vital picture of the country and its landscapes, still clothed in a certain innocence. The solid core of the collection lies in the stories in which he recalls, with amused nostalgia, the days when he was a skinny young teacher, shock-haired and scruffy, whose teaching was highly unconventional, casual, even regarded with some suspicion, but of great appeal to his pupils. At the same time this teacher, born and bred close to the land, was deeply moved by piano playing and was able to inspire love for classical music in his students - young people who had been rescued with youth groups from Berlin and Prague, and who had lost their families in the Holocaust. Humor turns to sadness, the protagonist matures, but the diverse stories are linked. Yizhar's stories reflect not only aesthetic but also humanist values and a love of mankind.
Yizhar never tries to observe reality through ‘contemporary’ prisms which have nothing to do with his essential vision. That is why his writing remains at its peak of rhythmic, descriptive beauty and communicative power. Every one of the stories moves us to laughter and sadness, and galvanizes us mentally and emotionally.
It’s as if someone finally stood up and faced the mountains and the valleys and the stars and the hosts of heaven, clapped, bowed with admiration, and called for an encore from life itself.
Author Amos Oz