Yitzhak Laor’s books are place very high demands on his readers, his country, and literature. At the same time, however, they are among the greatest works available to us readers, his home-country, Israel, and world literature in the present time. In the extremely complex world of his novels, he deals with a reality that is even more extreme in the Middle East than in real life generally. His language is as undisguised at the one extreme and obscene at the other as the perspectives he adopts in one and the same text are countless.
Yitzhak Laor, born in Pardes Hanna in 1948, now lives in Tel Aviv. He is a poet, a dramatist, a novelist and an essayist. In 1972, he refused to serve in the army in the occupied territories. Both his poems, in which he condemned the war in the Lebanon, and his novels were received enthusiastically by critics. In 1990, however, the then prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, refused to award Laor the Prime Minister’s Prize for Poetry. In 1992, Laor received the Bernstein Award for poetry and in 1994 the Israel Award for poetry.
The next engagements in 2010: John Berlin, tbc (January 12, 2010), Taibo (March 23, 2010), John M. Coetzee (May 4, 2010)