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A renowned awarded writer, outstanding scholar, translator, essayist, and literary editor, Michal Ben-Naftali was born in Tel Aviv in 1963. She studied history and philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and received her PhD in contemporary French philosophy from the University of Oxford.
Between 2006 and 2014, Ben-Naftali edited "The French" series for Hakibbutz Hameuchad publishing house, and presently edits a contemporary Israeli literature series for Afik Publishing. She also teaches literature and creative writing, at Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University.
Ben-Naftai has published novella collections, memoirs, a novel, short stories, and collections of literary essays, as well as numerous articles on literature, philosophy, and art for publications in Israel and abroad. She lived in Paris for several years; her translations from French to Hebrew include works by Jacques Derrida, André Breton, Marina Tsvetaeva, Maurice Blanchot, Julia Kristeva, Esther Orner, Annie Ernaux, Didier Eribon and Michelle Debords. In 2008, Ben-Naftali was awarded a scholarship for translators from the French Ministry of Culture, and in 2013 was writer-in-residence at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Prizes for her literary work include the Haaretz prize for Best Literary Essay of the Year (2008). Her novel, The Teacher, won the 2016 Sapir Prize, and the 2019 Adei Wizo Prize in Italy. In 2018, she was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by France’s Minster of Culture, for her contribution to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance. Her book, A Dress of Fire, was shortlisted for the 2019 Sapir Prize.
Novel: The Teacher
Novellas: A Dress of Fire
Novellas: The Group
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