The novelist Moshe Sakal was born in Israel in 1976 into a Sephardic family from Egypt and Syria.
In November 2011, Sakal’s novel Yolanda was shortlisted for the Sapir Prize, the Israeli Booker. Sakal was awarded the Eshkol prize for his work, as well as a Fulbright scholarship to attend the Iowa Writing Program(IWP) in the University of Iowa , USA. Yolanda was published in France in 2012 by Stock publishing house.
Fluent in three languages, Moshe Sakal studied and worked in France between 2000 and 2006. He currently heads the translation unit of the Literary Division of the Israel Center for Books and Libraries and writes book reviews and articles for Haaretz daily newspaper. Previous to his novel Yolanda (Keter publishing house, Israel, feb. 2011), Sakal published two novels and a volume of short stories.
From comments by the panel of judges, headed by Haim Be’er, upon awarding the Eshkol Prize for a Hebrew work in 2011: Moshe Sakal’s writing is impressive in its range and reflects an ability to arrive at profound psychological insights…In the novel Yolanda, he has established his status as an outstanding writer of prose, who describes the world of an entire generation of immigrants, with verve, sensitivity and restrained humor.
From reasons given by the panel of judges for the Sapir Prize, for selecting Yolanda as one of the five finalists: The story sketches part of a family autobiography, focused on the matriarchal figure of the narrator’s grandmother. This character, who has both a real and a fictional aspect, helps the narrator navigate through a complicated adolescence, described with sensitivity, warmth and humor. In addition, the plot describes gender, ethnic and generational conflicts in Israeli society.