Shmuel Yosef Agnon, (July 17, 1888 – February 17, 1970) was a Nobel Prize laureate writer and was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction. In Hebrew, he is known by the acronym Shai Agnon. In English, his works are published under the name S. Y. Agnon.
Agnon was born in Galicia, Austro-Hungarian Empire (today Ukraine), later immigrated to the British mandate of Palestine, and died in Jerusalem. His works deal with the conflict between the traditional Jewish life and language and the modern world. They also attempt to recapture the fading traditions of the European shtetl (village). In a wider context, he also contributed to broadening the characteristic conception of the narrator's role in literature. Agnon shared the Nobel Prize with the poet Nelly Sachs in 1966.
Read Shmuel Yosef Agnon's Nobel Prize speech, free from Nobelprize.org.