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AGNON, SHMUEL YOSEF (1888-1970).

Hebrew novelist. Born in Galicia, Agnon settled in Palestine in 1909, but lived in Germany from 1912 to 1923. His works are based chiefly upon traditional Jewish life in Europe. They are rich in Hasidic lore and legend, capturing the spirit and flavor of Jewish culture. Writing in Hebrew, then emerging as a modern tongue, Agnon’s prose has a charm of its own. Although abundant in realistic detail, it often has a dream-like quality.

Among Agnon’s finest novels are Hachnasat Kallah (The Bridal Canopy), Sippur Pashut (A Simple Story), and Oreah Natah La-lun (Lodging for a Night). In T’mol Shilshom (Only Yesterday), he draws upon his experiences in Palestine to create a fascinating epic. In December 1966 he became the first Hebrew writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, an award he shared with the German-Jewish poet Nelly Sachs.

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