For the first time, Israeli women authors overtook men in publishing in 2021


(JTA) — For the first time ever, women authors in Israel published more books of prose and poetry, the National Library of Israel said in its 2021 annual report.”

Each year before Hebrew Book Week, the National Library of Israel publishes statistics on the Israeli publishing industry based on library admissions due to the Legal Deposit Law, which requires anyone in Israel who publishes more than 50 copies of a book to provide two copies to the Jerusalem Library.

Of the 7,344 books sent to the library in 2021, 25% are exclusively classified in prose and poetry. Just over half, 52%, went to female authors, giving them a majority for the first time since the library began collecting statistics.

Notable releases by the women included “A Penguin Café at the Edge of the World,” a children’s story by author and poet Nurit Zarchi, winner of the 2021 Israel Prize for Literature, and “Strangers,” a bestselling novel by author Lihi Lapid, lawyer and wife of Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

The total number of books published suggests a rebound for the Israeli publishing industry, with a 13.2% jump from the 2020 crisis.

About 92% of books published in Israel in 2021 were in Hebrew, including 4.8% in English, 2.2% in Arabic and a handful in Russian.


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