What's On Natalie Portman's Bookshelf
By Amos Oz
I'm planning on directing a film of this book, which is essentially an autobiography tracing the author's own family's move from Europe to what is now Israel and the disappointment of immigration. His mother killed herself, and he's spent much of his life creating scenarios of why that happened. The process of meditating on her life makes him into a writer. The book is also about the birth of a language. He talks about his great-uncle, who was one of the architects of modern Hebrew, and how there didn't used to be a word for shirt until he created it, because Hebrew had been a biblical language. It's so interesting to think about what comes before the process of naming something—how you struggle when you don't have the words to say what you feel.