Winner of multiple literary awards, Aharon Appelfeld, one of Israel’s most prolific and talented writers, who brought forth a rich library of Holocaust fiction, memoirs and essays in 47 books, died aged 85. The prolific Appelfeld published his most recent book “Perplexity,” just three months ago.
Appelfeld was the recipient of the 1983 Israel Prize for literature and the 1989 National Jewish Book Award for fiction and in 1997 was appointed a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Appelfeld wrote his fiction in Hebrew, a language he didn’t learn until he was 13 and had arrived in pre-state Israel, following harrowing escapes and painful experiences in Ukraine, Russia and Europe during and after the Holocaust. Much of Appelfeld’s fiction was based on his own life, transforming memory into fiction. His first book translated into English was “Badenheim 1939,” still part of the syllabus in many Holocaust classes.