LAOR, YITZHAK (1948– ), Hebrew writer. Laor was born in Pardes Ḥannah. He completed his studies in theater and literature at Tel Aviv University. His first collection of stories Mi-Ḥuẓ la-Gader ("Outside the Fence") was published in 1981. Various collections of stories and poems followed, including Rak ha-Guf Zokher ("Only the Body Remembers," poems, 1985) and Shirim be-Emek ha-Barzel ("Poems in the Valley of Iron," 1990). The year 1987 saw the publication of his play "Efraim Goes Back to the Army," which was also translated into Dutch. His first novel, Am. Ma'akhal Melakhim ("The People, Food for Kings"; German translation, 2003), appeared in 1993. The novel marks a departure from the heroic depiction of the Israeli army and offers as it were an alternative reading of the Six-Day War, which does not break out because a secret document containing war plans reaches the soldiers, who then run away. Laor's subversive and radical tone, his vehement criticism of Israeli politics and the occupation, his anger and anguish can be found in his collection Ir ha-Livyatan, comprising poems written between 2000 and 2004. The personal is always tinged with the political, and Laor warns against the corrosion of moral values. Living in Tel Aviv, Laor also writes for the literary supplement of Haaretz. For translations see the ITHL website at www.ithl.org.il.
Y. Oppenheimer, "Ha-Zekhut ha-Gedolah Lomar Lo," in: Alpayim, 10 (1994), 238–259; G. Shaked, "Anu Kotvim Otakh Moledet," in: Alpayim, 12 (1996), 51–72; Y. Mazor, "Bein Alterman le-Zach: Al Y. Laor," in: Ha-Do'ar, 75 (1996), 20–22; R. Weichert, "Ha-Ta'arif ha-Gavoha shel ha-Hitkablut," in: Moznayim, 73:1 (1998), 12–15; O. Wokenstein, "Ha-Odise'ah shel Penelope," in: Ḥadarim, 13 (1999), 93–95; S. Sandbank, in: Sefarim, Haaretz (October 27, 2004); D. Zonschein, in: Haaretz (November 5, 2004).