Ilana Hammerman was born in Haifa in 1944. She holds a Ph.D. in linguistics and literary theory from Bielefeld University, Germany. Hammerman has taught literature, translation, and editing at several academic institutions. From 1985 to 2012 she was editor-in-chief at Am Oved Publishing House. Hammerman has published documentary books, literary studies, and memoirs, as well as numerous essays and articles on literature and political issues. She is also a prominent translator from French, German, English, Spanish, and Arabic into Hebrew. As a political activist, Hammerman has fought the occupation for decades, individually and as a board member of the human rights organization B’Tselem and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
Hammerman has been awarded the Ministry of Education Prize for Translation (1990), an Andersen Honor Citation for Translation (1994), the Tchernichovsky Translation Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2006), and the Yeshayahu Leibowitz Prize (2015) for her public activity against the occupation.
Hammerman lives in Jerusalem.