The Millions

The Nobel Prize Winner You’ve Never Heard Of

Forty-eight years ago, on February 17, 1970, the great author passed away in Israel at the age of 82. By the time of his death he was considered one of the greatest writers of modern Hebrew literature. His stature was finally acknowledged only four years earlier, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, which he shared with the German-Jewish poet . Yet outside the narrow circle of Hebrew readers Agnon remains almost unknown. Much of his prodigious oeuvre has not been translated, and even native Hebrew speakers are more likely to recognize his name than to be familiar with more than a few of his stories. Why is it that this extraordinary literary figure has spent the last half-century in

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