Ben-Zion Tomer (1928-1998) was born in Poland. He was forced to flee to Siberia in the Soviet Union with his family during World War II and later immigrated to Eretz Israel at age fifteen, via Iran. During the War of Independence he fought with the Palmach and was captured by the Jordanians. Following his return to Israel, he studied philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For years the editor of the literary magazine Masa, he also taught literature at various kibbutz and teachers colleges. From 1966 to 1968 he served as Israel`s cultural attache in Brazil, and from 1969 to 1977 he was an advisor to the Ministry of Culture and Education.
Best known as a playwright, Tomer was also a poet, novelist and translator from Russian and Polish. His work has been translated into several languages, and his play, Children of the Shadows, was performed in the US and Canada.
Books Published in Hebrew
River Returning (poetry), Machbarot Lesifrut, 1959 [Nahar Hozer]
Children of the Shadows (play), Amikam, 1963 [Yaldei Ha-Tzel]
On the Equator (poetry), Ekked, 1969 [Al Kav Ha-Mashveh]
Via Salt (prose), Tarmil, 1978 [Derech Ha-Melach]
Books in Translation
Children of the Shadows
English: Jerusalem, World Zionist Organization, 1970; Tel Aviv, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature, 1982
French: Tel Aviv, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature, 1985
Spanish: Jerusalem, Organizacion Sionista Mundial, 1972
German: Munich, Stueckgut Theater Verlag, 1986