Orly Castel-Bloom was born in north Tel Aviv in 1960 to a family of Egyptian Jews, but until the age of three, she had French nannies and spoke only French. She studied film at Tel Aviv University and theater at the Beit Zvi School for the Performing Arts in Ramat Gan. Castel-Bloom still lives in Tel Aviv and has two children.
She is the author of eleven books, including both collections of short fiction and novels. Her 1992 novel Dolly City has been included in the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, and in 1999 she was named one of the fifty most influential women in Israel. She has also won the Prime Minister’s award twice, the Tel Aviv award for fiction, and was nominated for the Sapir Prize for Literature.
She was the first Israeli novelist to address the subject of Palestinian suicide bombings, which she did in Human Parts (Halakim Enoshiyim), published by Godine in 2002. Israeli literary critic Gershon Shaked called her a postmodern writer who “communicates the despair of a generation which no longer even dreams the dreams of Zionist history.”