Author Amir Gutfreund died on Friday at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa after battling cancer.
Gutfreund, 52, was born in Haifa to Holocaust survivors, a fact that was reflected in his writings.
Holding a master’s degree in applied mathematics and operations research from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Gutfreund wrote his first novel, Our Holocaust, during his military career.
Gutfreund retired from the army at age 42, at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was awarded the Yad VaShem’s Buchman prize for Our holocaust in 2001.
In 2003, Gutfreund won the prestigious Sapir prize for literature for his novel Ahuzot Hahof (Seaside Estates) and in 2013 he received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Creative Work, as well. Other of his notable novels include The World a Moment, When Heroes Fly and Mazal Orev (Lucky Crow).
His novels were translated into several languages, including English, French, German, Dutch and Hungarian.
Avi Nesher’s film The Matchmaker was inspired by Gutfreund’s When Heroes Fly.
Gutfreund also forayed into the television industry and wrote for the popular television series Hostages.
Gutfreund is survived by his wife and three children.
His first wife, Neta, also died of cancer in 2011.