Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua passes away


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Israeli writer, A.B. Yehoshua, giving an interview at his home in Jerusalem, on May 5, 2007.
Chen Leopold/Flash 90Israeli writer, A.B. Yehoshua, giving an interview at his home in Jerusalem, on May 5, 2007.

Yehoshua - a writer, activist, and playwright - was described as the 'Israeli Faulkner'

Renowned Israeli novelist Abraham B. (A.B.) Yehoshua on Tuesday was pronounced dead at the age of 85, after years of battling cancer.

Yehoshua was considered one of the most important and influential writers from Israel, described by The New York Times as the "Israeli Faulkner," referring to the famous American writer William Faulkner. 

The novelist, activist, playwright, and essayist was born in 1936 in Jerusalem to a family from Salonika, Greece. He attended Rehavia Gymnasium High School and served in Israel's army as a paratrooper, before applying to study literature at the Hebrew University.

From the end of his military service, Yehoshua began to publish fiction. His first book of short stories, "Mot Hazaken" (The Death of the Old Man), was published in 1962. He became a prominent figure in the "new wave" generation of Israeli writers, who differed from their predecessors in focussing more closely on the individual. ...

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In 1977, he published his first novel "The Lover," and later published many successful books, including "Mr. Money," "The Return from India," "The Mission of the Human Resources Commissioner," and more.

Come 1995, the writer won the Israel Prize for Literature

In addition to his artistic activity, Yehoshua was one of the prominent voices in the Israeli leftist camp. He was a member of the public council of B'Tselem and in some of the election campaigns was placed on the Meretz party list for Israel's parliament. 

Towards the end of the Second Lebanon War, he attended a press conference in which he called on the Israeli government to agree to a ceasefire and not to expand the fighting. 

Yehoshua is survived by his daughter and two sons.

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