JERUSALEM — Aharon Appelfeld, esteemed Israeli novelist and Holocaust survivor who became a leading voice in Holocaust literature, has died. He was 85.

Appelfeld was born in Romania before the rise of the Nazis, lost his mother in the mass murder of Jews during World War II and was only reunited with his father 20 years later.

He later rose to become one of Israel’s most prolific Hebrew-language writers even though he only learned the language as a teenager.

He wrote dozens of books that were translated into many languages and received the country’s top literary awards. Acclaimed American-Jewish author Philip Roth called him “a displaced writer of displaced fiction, who has made of displacement and disorientation a subject uniquely his own.”

Appelfeld is survived by his wife and three children.