Alon Altaras was born in Jaffa, Israel, in 1960. A novelist, poet and translator, he studied literature at Tel Aviv University and specializes in modern Italian literature and culture. Altaras divides his time between Venice and Tel Aviv and translates Italian literature into Hebrew - Antonio Tabucchi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Eugenio Montale, Antonio Gramsci, Natalia Ginzburg, Elena Ferrante, Andrea Camilleri, Sandro Veronesi, Alessandro Baricco, Roberto Calasso and Cristina Comencini, among others. He taught at the Universities of Trieste and Sienna and currently lectures at The University of Pisa. He also writes for Il Fatto Quotidiano, l'Unita and La Repubblica.
Altaras has been awarded the Prime Minister's Prize (2001), the Italian Ministry of Education Prize for his translations and for promoting Italian culture in Israel (2003), the Dan David Foundation Award (2008) and the Ramat Gan Prize for Translation (2016). In 2006, he was decorated by the President of Italy as Knight of the Italian Republic for his contribution to promoting Italian literature in Israel.