Biography

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 203

Born in Warsaw, Poland, in the 1920s, Yehudit Hendel immigrated to Haifa, Israel, in 1930 as a child with her rabbinic family. Considered by many to be one of Israel’s most respected women writers, Hendel currently lives in Tel Aviv.

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Hendel is little known outside of Israel, and only a small number of her writings have been translated into English from the original Hebrew. Hendel’s first book, a collection of stories entitled They Are Different (or Hem Sonim in Hebrew), appeared in 1950. In 1955, Hendel published her first novel, Street of Steps, which was translated into English in 1963. Small Change, originally published as Kesef Katan in 1988, is a collection of stories that includes the title novella. The book is being translated into Chinese, and the English translation of ‘‘Small Change’’ appears in the collection Six Israeli Novellas, published in 1999.

Much of Hendel’s work has been adapted for stage, screen, television, and radio. Israel’s Habima National Theatre (more recently known as the Israel National Theater) has staged Street of Steps, and Hendel’s second novel, The Yard of Momo, the Great, was made into a television production. Hendel is a recipient of the Jerusalem Prize, the Newman Prize, and the Bialik Prize.

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