Renowned Israeli author Meir Shalev died Tuesday at the age of 74 after struggling with cancer.
Considered one of the most successful and influential Israeli authors of his time, Shalev's books have been translated and published in 26 languages.
"How unfortunate that we no longer have the necessary expectation for another new book by Meir Shalev, which will be published and change our lives, make them richer, fuller. How sad that we won't be able to celebrate with him, born in 2018, the upcoming Independence Day," President Isaac Herzog said.
Shalev was born in 1948 in Nahalal, in Israel's North, and later resided in Jerusalem. He studied art and psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and upon finishing his studies, Shalev began working as a journalist.
Shalev began writing novels at the age of 40, and first wrote three children’s books before he even ventured into the world of adult fiction with his 1988 book, “The Blue Mountain” (“Roman Russi” in Hebrew), about pioneers in the Jezreel Valley.
The book was an immediate success with Israeli readers and turned Shalev into one of the country’s most popular contemporary authors.
In the world of children's literature, Shalev wrote 14 children's books, including a particularly popular series about Kramer the cat.
In 2006, he won Israel's coveted Brenner Prize. In 2014, he was given the title of Knight of Arts and Letters.