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Renowned Israeli writer Ronit Matalon dies at 58

Israeli writer Ronit Matalon won a number of awards, including Israel’s prestigious Bernstein Prize in 2009 for her novel ‘The Sound of Our Steps’.
Israeli writer Ronit Matalon won a number of awards, including Israel’s prestigious Bernstein Prize in 2009 for her novel ‘The Sound of Our Steps’.

JERUSALEM, Dec 29 — Renowned novelist Ronit Matalon, known for her explorations of Israeli society, died yesterday at the age of 58 after battling cancer, media reports and officials said.

President Reuven Rivlin mourned her death and called her a “marvellous author whose original and determined voice contributed to Israeli culture”.

Matalon’s work has been translated into several languages, including English and French.

Born in Israel in 1959 to a family of Egyptian origin, she worked as a journalist for Israeli newspaper Haaretz and was also known for her criticism of her country’s occupation of the West Bank.

She won a number of awards, including Israel’s prestigious Bernstein Prize in 2009 for her novel The Sound of Our Steps.

The semi-autobiographical book told of the difficulties of a Jewish family from Egypt seeking to integrate into Israeli society.

In 2016, she received criticism from the right in Israel when she criticised the occupation in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, saying “we are living under an apartheid regime”. — AFP

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