Michal Ben-Naftali was born in Tel Aviv in 1963. A writer, translator and editor, she studied history and philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received her PhD in contemporary French philosophy from The University of Oxford. Having taught at several Israeli academic institutions, she now teaches French literature and creative writing at Tel Aviv University.
Ben-Naftali lived in Paris for several years; from 2006 till 2014 she was the editor of “The French” series for Hakibbutz Hameuchad publishing house, followed by a series on Hebrew aesthetics she is currently editing for Resling. She has published collections of essays, a novella, a memoir and a novel, as well as many articles on literature, philosophy and art, in Israel and abroad. Her translations from French to Hebrew include works by Jacques Derrida, André Breton, Marina Tsvetaeva, Maurice Blanchot, Julia Kristeva, Esther Orner and Annie Ernaux. In 2008 Ben-Naftali received a scholarship for translators from the French Ministry of Culture, and in 2013 she was writer-in-residence at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. She has received the Prime Minister's Prize (2007) and the Haaretz prize for Best Literary Essay of the Year (2008). Her novel, The Teacher, won the 2016 Sapir Prize and the 2019 Adei Wizo Prize in Italy. In 2018 she received the prestigious French Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres decoration. Her last novel ‘A Dress of Fire' was shortlisted for the 2019 Sapir Prize.