Savyon Liebrecht was born in Munich in 1948 as Sabine Sosnovsky to Polish Holocaust survivors (her father emerged from Buchenwald, his wife and baby did not). Liebrecht was three years old when she arrived in Israel, where her family finally settled in Bat Yam. She started her military service in a kibbutz, and was later transferred to the Tank Corps as a communications specialist. During this time she started working on her first novel, about a girl who leaves a kibbutz for the big city. After her service she departed for London, where she took up journalism studies. A year and a half later she returned to Israel, changed her first name to Savyon, and began to study English literature and philosophy at Tel Aviv University. After graduation, she taught English to adults, studied sculpture, and began writing for the women’s monthly At (You). She attended a writers’ workshop run by noted Israeli author Amalia Kahana-Carmon, and submitted the resultant story, “Apples from the Desert,” to the editors of Iton 77, who published it in 1984. It appeared in her first collection of short stories which won her the Alterman Prize in 1987.
Liebrecht writes novellas, novels and plays, but her forte is in short stories. Much of her fiction falls under the category of psychological realism, as testified by titles such as “Horses on the Highway,” (1988); “It’s All Greek to Me, He Said to Her,” (1992); “On Love Stories and Other Endings,” (1995); and “Mail-Order Women,” (2000). These provided adequate cover for her rare forays into the fantastique, of which the following story, “A Good Place for the Night” (2002), serves as the most accomplished example. She is known as a meticulous craftswoman, building her narratives out of objects she finds in her personal life and experiences. Liebrecht also translated the Jewish-American writer Grace Paley into Hebrew. She wrote a number of teleplays as well, which eventually found their home on Israel Television.