A young boy coming of age in British-occupied Jerusalem trades away one possession after another, only to find something much more wonderful – his first love

When Soumchi, an eleven-year-old boy growing up just after World War II, receives a bicycle as a gift from his Uncle Zemach, he is overjoyed – even if it is a girl's bicycle.

Ignoring the taunts of other boys in his neighbourhood, he dreams of riding far away from them, out of the city and across the desert, toward the heart of Africa. But first he wants to show his new prize to his friend Aldo…

‘A lavishly gifted writer’ New York Times


  • A lavishly gifted writer
    New York Times

About the author

Amos Oz

Born in Jerusalem in 1939, Amos Oz was the internationally acclaimed author of many novels and essay collections, translated into over forty languages, including his brilliant semi-autobiographical work, A Tale of Love and Darkness. His last novel, Judas, was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017 and won the Yasnaya Polyana Foreign Fiction Award. He received several international awards, including the Prix Femina, the Israel Prize, the Goethe Prize, the Frankfurt Peace Prize and the 2013 Franz Kafka Prize. He died in December 2018.
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