Aharon Appelfeld, a great voice of contemporary Israeli literature, Foreign Medici Prize in 2004 for his autobiography «History of a Life», and Israel Prize in 1983, died in the night of January 3 to 4 at the age of 85.
Aharon Appelfeld, a survivor of the Holocaust in Ukraine, devoted most of his work, which has more than 40 works, to the evocation of this tragedy and the life of European Jews until the outbreak of the Second World War. His novels and short stories stand out as poignant testimonies of a disappeared world. Translated around the world, his work, with a remarkably sober style, goes beyond his personal history to reproduce universal human journeys.
Aharon Appelfeld, who was very marked in his writing by the trials he went through, refused to be reduced to the role of writer of the Shoah; this is the life he celebrated in his novels.
His magnificent, often strange and distressing books, in which one recognizes the great reader of Kafka, are indeed those of a living person who wanted nothing else «than to write about Jewish men».
I extend my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.