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Aharon Megged

(1920 - )

Aharon Megged (b. Wroclawek, Poland), came as a boy of six to Tel Aviv, where he lives today. He was a kibbutz member for 12 years, and worked in agriculture, fishing and at the docks at Haifa Port. After leaving the kibbutz he worked as a literary editor and journalist. Megged began publishing in 1938. He served as the Israeli cultural attaché in London, and was Writer in Residence at Haifa University and Oxford. He has been a member of the Academy of Hebrew Language since 1980. From 1980 to 1987, he was the president of the Israeli center of PEN. He has received the Bialik Prize, the Brenner Prize, the Agnon Prize, the Wizo Prize, in France, for Foiglman, Israel Prize (2003) and several other literary awards. In 2004, he won the Koret prize for Jewish fiction.

Megged's tone is critical, satirical and at times elegiac. He focuses his perceptive eye on the relationships his individuals have, and through these, draws a picture of society at large. Megged tackles a subject which is increasingly engaging Hebrew writers: the nostalgic preoccupation with the Jewish identity from which the "new Jew," the Sabra, has sought to free himself in the State of Israel. While Megged frequently conveys the "wonderful Jewish virtues of wit, humanity and idealism," his work often has strong satiric qualities. Having sprung from the generation of writers associated with the 1948 War of Independence, Megged is in many ways a prototype, his thematic development largely reflecting the changing face of Israel.

Books Published in Hebrew

Spirit of the Seas (stories), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1950 [Ruah Yamim]
Hedva and I (novel), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1953 [Hedva Ve-Ani]
sraeli Folk (stories), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1955 [Yisraeliim Haverim]
Fortunes of a Fool (novel), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1960 [Mikreh Ha-Ksil]
The Escape (novellas), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1962 [Ha-Brihah]
The Living on the Dead (novel), Am Oved, 1965 [Ha-Hai Al Ha-Met]
The Second Day (stories), Tarmil, 1967 [Ha-Yom Ha-Sheni]
The Short Life (novel), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1972 [Ha-Haiim Ha-Ketzarim]
Evyatar Notebooks (novel), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1973 [Mahbarot Evyatar]
Midday (stories), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1973 [Hatzot Ha-Yom]
Of Trees and Stones (novel), Am Oved, 1974 [Al Etzim Ve-Avanim]
The Bat (novel), Am Oved, 1975 [Ha-atalef]
Heinz, His Son, and the Evil Spirit (novel), Am Oved, 1975 [Heinz U-Vno Ve-Haruah Ha-Ra'ah]
Asahel (novel), Am Oved, 1978 [Ashael]
Journey in the Month of Av (novel), Am Oved, 1980 [Masah Be-Av]
The Flying Camel and the Golden Hump (novel), Am Oved, 1982 [Ha-Gamal Ha-Meofef Ve-Dabeshet Ha-Zahav
Indecent Act (novellas), Am Oved, 1986 [Ma'aseh Meguneh]
Foiglman (novel), Am Oved, 1988 [Foiglman]
Selected Stories, Zmora Bitan, 1989 [Mivhar Sipurim]
Anat's Day of Illumination (novel), Am Oved, 1992 [Yom Ha-Or Shel Anat]
Longing for Olga (novel), Am Oved, 1994 [Ga'aguim Le-Olga]
Iniquity (novel), Am Oved, 1996 [Avel]
Mandrakes from the Holy Land (novel), Am Oved, 1998 [Duda'im Min Ha-Aretz Ha-Kedoshah]
Persephone Remembers (novel), Zmora Bitan, 2000 [Persefone Zocheret]
Till Evening Falls (novella), Zmora Bitan, 2001 [Ad Ha-Erev]
Yotam`s Vengeance (novella), Zmora Bitan, 2003 [Nekamat Yotam]

To the Children in Yemen, New York-United Synagogues, 1946 [El Ha-Yeladim Be-Teiman
Young Love, Dvir, 1980 [Ahavat Neurim]
Nadav and His Mother, Dvir, 1988 [Nadav Ve-Imo]

The Children's Journey to the Promised Land, Am Oved, 1984 [Masah Ha-Yeladim La-Aretz Ha-Muvtahat]
The Turbulent Zone (essays), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1985 [Ezor Ha-Ra'ash]
The Writing Desk (essays), Am Oved, 1989 [Shulhan Ha-Ketivah]

On the Road to Eilat, Sifriat Poalim, 1951 [Ba-Derech Le-Eilat]
Hanna Senesh, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1958 [Hannah Senesh]
Genesis, Or-Am, 1989 [Be-Reshit]
The High Season, Amikam, 1968 [Ha-Onah Ha-Boeret]

Performed Plays
Incubator on the Rocks [Ohel, 1950]
On the Road to Eilat (Habimah, 1951)
Hedva and I (Habimah, 1954)
5:5 (Ohel, 1956)
I Like Mike (Hakibbutz Hameuachad, 1956)
Hanna Senesh (Habimah, 1958)
Genesis (Habimah, 1962)
The High Season (Habimah, 1967)
To the Bird (Haifa, 1974)

Books in Translation
Fortunes of a Fool
English: New York, Random House, 1962
London, Gollancz, 1962

The Living on the Dead
English: London, Jonathan Cape, 1970
New York, Viking, 1970
New York, McCall, 1971
Romanian: Bucharest, Univers, 1972
Russian: Jerusalem, Aliya, 1977

English: New York, Taplinger, 1982

The Short Life
English: New York, Taplinger, 1980

Hedva and I
Spanish: Buenos Aires, Candelabro, 1962
Russian: Jerusalem, Hakibbutz Hameuchad/Aliya, 1980
English: Jerusalem, World Zionist Organization, 1957
New York, Taplinger, 1980
French: Jerusalem, Org. Sioniste Mondiale, 1962
Russian: Tel Aviv, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1975

The Flying Camel and the Golden Hump
German: Munich, Carl Hanser, 1991
Paperback: Munich, dtv, 1993
French: Geneva, Metropolis, 1994

Of Trees and Stones
French: Paris, Phebus, 1996

German: Gerlingen, Bleicher, 1992
French: Geneva, Metropolis, 1997
English: London, The Toby Press, 2003

Heinz, His Son, and the Evil Spirit
German: Gerlingen, Bleicher, 1994

The Children's Journey to the Promised Land
Italian: Milan, Mazzotta, 1997

Till Evening Falls
French: Paris, Bibliophane/Daniel Radford, 2003

Hanna Senesz (play)
Spanish: Buenos Aires, Editorial Israel, 1961

The First Sin (Genesis-play)
English: Jerusalem, World Zionist Organization, 1974
Spanish: Jerusalem, Instituto Central de Relaciones Culturales Israe, Iberoamerica, Espana, Portugal, 1964

Sources: Copyright The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature. Reprinted by kind permission of The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature, Ramat Gan Israel. The Institute web site contains biographies of 300 Israeli authors. Photograph by Dina Guna.