Jessica Cohen

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Jessica Cohen (born 1973) is a British-Israeli-American translator. She shared the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for translating David Grossman's 2014 novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar.[1][2]


Cohen was born in Colchester, England to Stanley Cohen and Ruth Kretzmer in 1973.[3] She moved with her family to Israel at the age of seven and went on to study English literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After moving to the United States with her husband in 1997, she studied Middle Eastern literature and languages at Indiana University.[4]

Cohen has translated a number of Hebrew language books into English, including those by Nir Baram, David Grossman, Amir Gutfreund [he], Yael Hedaya [he], Ronit Matalon, Rutu Modan, Dorit Rabinyan, Tom Segev and Nava Semel. She currently resides in Denver, Colorado.[5][6]

Following her joint success in the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, Cohen planned to donate half of her winnings to B’Tselem.[7]



  1. ^ "David Grossman and translator Jessica Cohen win Man Booker International Prize". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  2. ^ Shea, Christopher D. (16 June 2017). "Man Booker Winners Agree: Translating Jokes Is Hard". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Stanley Cohen (1942-2013)" (PDF). The British Academy. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  4. ^ "The Hebrew Translator on Translation". Jewish Book Council. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Jessica Cohen". Words Without Borders. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Jessica Cohen". English PEN. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Israel's artists are celebrated abroad; less so at home". The Economist. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.

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