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Yitzhak Auerbach-Orpaz

Yitzhak Auerbach-Orpaz

Yitzhak Auerbach-Orpaz is an Israeli writer. He was born in Zinkov, Russia, in 1921. In 1938, at the age of 17, he came to Israel as part of Youth Aliyah and joined Magdiel settlement. In the autumn of 1942 he received the news about the death of his parents and sister in Transnistria, Romania. He enlisted in the British Army and went to Europe. He returned to Israel and fought in the War of Independence. On one of his vacations as a soldier he wrote a short story for a competition and won a prize. The story was printed in the army’s magazine, and when they wanted to read it on the radio they asked him to change his name, to an Israeli one. This is how Auerbach became Orpaz. At a relatively late age, he studied philosophy and Hebrew literature at Tel Aviv University. He was an editor and a regular contributor to the newspaper Al Hamishmar. His first book, Wild Grass, was published in 1959. In 1979 he was a guest writer at the University of Iowa in the United States, and in the 1980s and 1990s he taught creative writing workshops in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. After the Six-Day War, he was active in the Peace and Security Committee and other circles to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He was also involved in activities to preserve the coast from the real estate tycoons. In 1982 he added back his ancestors last name Averbuch, and the tension between Israeli and Jewish identity continued to occupy his later writings. Orpaz published some 20 books, including novels, novellas, short stories collection and essays, and received numerous prizes for his work.  In 2005 he was awarded the Israel Prize for Literature. He lived in Tel Aviv and passed away in 2015.

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