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Rachel Eytan


EYTAN, RACHEL (1931–1987), Hebrew author. Eytan spent part of her childhood in children's homes and later lived in a kibbutz. She was trained as a teacher and worked with children of new immigrants. Her first novel, Ha-Raki'a ha-Ḥamishi (1962; The Fifth Heaven, 1985) depicts in realistic style the life of abandoned children living in an orphanage in Ereẓ Israel during World War II. The novel, which was awarded the prestigious Brenner Prize, was one of the early attempts of Israeli literature to deal with the underprivileged "inferior" groups of the new Jewish society. In 1967 Eytan moved to New York and was appointed professor of Hebrew and Yiddish at Hofstra University. Her second novel, Shidah ve-Shidot ("Pleasures of Man," 1974) is the story of a young married woman who has a passionate affair with a member of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, told against the background of the urban, hedonistic society of Tel Aviv following the Six-Day War.

Sources:Y. Oren, in: Yedioth Aharonoth (Dec. 6, 1974); E. Ben Ezer, in: Al ha-Mishmar (Dec. 6, 1974); A. Zehavi, in: Yedioth Aharonoth (Dec. 20, 1974); G. Shaked, Ha-Sipporet ha-Ivrit, 4 (1993), 161–62, 383; T. Mishmar, "Ein Osim Leḥem mi-Ideologyot" (on The Fifth Heaven), in: Te'oriyah u-Vikkoret, 7 (1995), 147–58.

[Anat Feinberg (2nd ed.)]

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