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Shulamit Lapid

LAPID, SHULAMIT (1934– ), Hebrew writer. Lapid was born in Tel Aviv. She majored in Oriental studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her first collection of stories, Dagim ("Fish"), was published in 1969. This was followed by collections of stories and poems as well as ten novels, plays, and books for young readers. A former chairperson of the Hebrew Writers' Association, she is one of the most prolific Israeli women authors, with historical novels, realistic prose addressing social issues and ethnic discrimination, and a number of detective novels. Her early novel Gai Oni (1982; translated into German and French) is the story of the Galilean settlement which has come to be known as Rosh Pinnah. History, the Zionist dream and its realization, and the hardships of daily life are seen through the perspective of Fania, who arrives in Palestine with her old uncle, a deranged brother, and an unwanted baby, the product of rape. Despite hunger and disease, Fania flings herself into the new life and penetrates the male-dominated world of commerce and politics. Indeed, Lapid was one of the first Hebrew writers who confronted the Zionist narrative while paying special attention to the role of women, who had previously been considered as subordinate figures in the national enterprise. Lapid's second novel, Ka-Ḥeres ha-Nishbar ("As a Broken Vessel," 1984, translated into German), is the story of the astute antiquarian Moses Wilhelm Shapira. Lizzy Badiḥi, an industrious freelance journalist working for a local paper in Beersheba, far from pretty yet blessed with charm and sharp detective skills, is the leading figure in Lapid's detective novels, indeed a rather atypical detective. In Mekomon ("Local Paper," 1989) she succeeds in unraveling a crime case; in Pilegesh ba-Give'ah ("An Eye for an Eye," 2000), she investigates the case of murder and rape, rivalry and vengeance, involving a seemingly respectable professor. Lapid received the Newman Prize. Many of her books have been translated, mostly into German, and information is available at the ITHL website at


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Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.