The Most Famous

WRITERS from Israel

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This page contains a list of the greatest Israeli Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 5,794 Writers, 18 of which were born in Israel. This makes Israel the birth place of the 51st most number of Writers behind Uruguay and South Africa.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Israeli Writers of all time. This list of famous Israeli Writers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Israeli Writers.

Photo of John the Evangelist

1. John the Evangelist (10 - 100)

With an HPI of 79.69, John the Evangelist is the most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages on wikipedia.

John the Evangelist (Greek: Ἰωάννης, translit. Iōánnēs; Aramaic: ܝܘܚܢܢ; Arabic: يوحنا الإنجيلي‎, Hebrew: יוחנן האוונגליסט‎ Coptic: ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ⲓⲱ̅ⲁ) is the name traditionally given to the author of the Gospel of John. Christians have traditionally identified him with John the Apostle, John of Patmos, or John the Presbyter, although this has been disputed by most modern scholars.

Photo of Amos Oz

2. Amos Oz (1939 - 2018)

With an HPI of 77.52, Amos Oz is the 2nd most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Amos Oz (Hebrew: עמוס עוז‎; born Amos Klausner; 4 May 1939 – 28 December 2018) was an Israeli writer, novelist, journalist, and intellectual. He was also a professor of Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. From 1967 onwards, Oz was a prominent advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He was the author of 40 books, including novels, short story collections, children's books, and essays, and his work has been published in 45 languages, more than that of any other Israeli writer. He was the recipient of many honours and awards, among them the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels, the Legion of Honour of France, the Israel Prize, the Goethe Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award in Literature, the Heinrich Heine Prize, and the Franz Kafka Prize. Oz is regarded as one of "Israel's most prolific writers and respected intellectuals", as The New York Times worded it in an obituary.

Photo of Edward Said

3. Edward Said (1935 - 2003)

With an HPI of 75.59, Edward Said is the 3rd most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 64 different languages.

Edward Wadie Said (; Arabic: إدوارد وديع سعيد‎ [wædiːʕ sæʕiːd], Idwārd Wadīʿ Saʿīd; 1 November 1935 – 24 September 2003) was a professor of literature at Columbia University, a public intellectual, and a founder of the academic field of postcolonial studies. A Palestinian American born in Mandatory Palestine, he was a citizen of the United States by way of his father, a U.S. Army veteran. Educated in the Western canon at British and American schools, Said applied his education and bi-cultural perspective to illuminating the gaps of cultural and political understanding between the Western world and the Eastern world, especially about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in the Middle East; his principal influences were Antonio Gramsci, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Michel Foucault, and Theodor Adorno.As a cultural critic, Said is known for the book Orientalism (1978), a critique of the cultural representations that are the bases of Orientalism—how the Western world perceives the Orient. Said's model of textual analysis transformed the academic discourse of researchers in literary theory, literary criticism, and Middle-Eastern studies—how academics examine, describe, and define the cultures being studied. As a foundational text, Orientalism was controversial among scholars of Oriental Studies, philosophy, and literature.As a public intellectual, Said was a controversial member of the Palestinian National Council, due to his public criticism of Israel and the Arab countries, especially the political and cultural policies of Muslim régimes who acted against the national interests of their peoples. Said advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state to ensure equal political and human rights for the Palestinians in Israel, including the right of return to the homeland. He defined his oppositional relation with the status quo as the remit of the public intellectual who has "to sift, to judge, to criticize, to choose, so that choice and agency return to the individual" man and woman. In 1999, with his friend Daniel Barenboim, Said co-founded the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, based in Seville. This initiative brings together, every summer, a group of young classical musicians from Israel, the Palestinian territories and Arab countries to study, perform and to promote mutual reflection and understanding. Barenboim and Said jointly received the 2002 Prince of Asturias Awards for their work in "improving understanding between nations". Besides being an academic, Said was also an accomplished pianist, and, with Barenboim, co-authored the book Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (2002), a compilation of their conversations and public discussions about music held at New York's Carnegie Hall.The Barenboim–Said Academy, a joint project Said also developed with Barenboim, was created in Berlin. The academy was planned as a site for young music students from the Arab world and Israel to study music and humanities in Berlin. It opened its doors on 8 December 2016.

Photo of Mahmoud Darwish

4. Mahmoud Darwish (1941 - 2008)

With an HPI of 71.92, Mahmoud Darwish is the 4th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.

Mahmoud Darwish (Arabic: محمود درويش‎, romanized: Maḥmūd Darwīsh, 13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008) was a Palestinian poet and author who was regarded as the Palestinian national poet. He won numerous awards for his works. Darwish used Palestine as a metaphor for the loss of Eden, birth and resurrection, and the anguish of dispossession and exile. He has been described as incarnating and reflecting "the tradition of the political poet in Islam, the man of action whose action is poetry." He also served as an editor for several literary magazines in Palestine.

Photo of David Grossman

5. David Grossman (1954 - )

With an HPI of 67.46, David Grossman is the 5th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

David Grossman (Hebrew: דויד גרוסמן‎; born January 25, 1954) is an Israeli author. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages. In 2018, he was awarded the Israel Prize for literature.

Photo of Ghassan Kanafani

6. Ghassan Kanafani (1936 - 1972)

With an HPI of 66.94, Ghassan Kanafani is the 6th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Ghassan Kanafani (Arabic: غسان كنفاني‎‎, 8 April 1936 in Acre, Mandatory Palestine – 8 July 1972 in Beirut, Lebanon) was a Palestinian author and a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). On 8 July 1972, he was assassinated by Mossad as a response to the Lod airport massacre.

Photo of A. B. Yehoshua

7. A. B. Yehoshua (1936 - )

With an HPI of 66.37, A. B. Yehoshua is the 7th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Abraham B. Yehoshua (Hebrew: א.ב. יהושע‎, born December 9, 1936) is an Israeli novelist, essayist, and playwright, published as A. B. Yehoshua. The New York Times called him the "Israeli Faulkner".

Photo of May Ziade

8. May Ziade (1886 - 1941)

With an HPI of 63.29, May Ziade is the 8th most famous Israeli Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

May Elias Ziadeh ( zee-AH-də; Arabic: مي إلياس زيادة‎, ALA-LC: Mayy Ilyās Ziyādah; 11 February 1886 – 17 October 1941) was a Lebanese-Palestinian poet, essayist and translator, who wrote different works in Arabic and in French.After attending school in her native Nazareth and in Lebanon, Ziadeh immigrated with her family to Egypt in 1908, and started publishing her works in French (under the pen name Isis Copia) in 1911. Khalil Gibran entered into a well-known correspondence with her in 1912. A prolific writer, she wrote for Arabic-language newspapers and periodicals, along with publishing poems and books. She held one of the most famous literary salons in the modern Arab world in 1921. After suffering personal losses at the beginning of the 1930s, she returned to Lebanon where her relatives placed her in a psychiatric hospital. However, she was able to get out of it, and left for Cairo, where she later died.Ziadeh is considered to have been a key figure of the Nahda in the early 20th-century Arab literary scene, and a "pioneer of Oriental feminism."

Photo of Ahron Daum

9. Ahron Daum (1951 - 2018)

With an HPI of 62.93, Ahron Daum is the 9th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Ahron Daum (Hebrew: אהרן דאום‎; January 6, 1951 – June 27, 2018) was an Israeli-born Modern-Orthodox rabbi, educator, author, and former chief rabbi of Frankfurt am Main from 1987 to 1993. From 1995 until his death in 2018, he was a lecturer at the Faculty for Comparative Religion in Antwerp, Belgium.

Photo of Emile Habibi

10. Emile Habibi (1922 - 1996)

With an HPI of 62.30, Emile Habibi is the 10th most famous Israeli Writer.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Emile Shukri Habibi (Arabic: إميل حبيبي‎, Hebrew: אמיל חביבי‎‎, 28 January 1922 – 2 May 1996) was an Israeli Arab writer of Arabic literature and a politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the communist parties Maki and Rakah.

Pantheon has 18 people classified as writers born between 10 and 1992. Of these 18, 9 (50.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include David Grossman, A. B. Yehoshua, and Etgar Keret. The most famous deceased writers include John the Evangelist, Amos Oz, and Edward Said. As of October 2020, 6 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Ahron Daum, Emile Habibi, and Gideon Levy.

Living Writers

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Deceased Writers

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Newly Added Writers (2020)

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Which Writers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 8 most globally memorable Writers since 1700.