Ruth Almog, née Lump, was born in Petaḥ Tikvah in the British Mandate of Palestine (present-day Israel) to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Germany in 1933. They were both physicians, but her father could not find work in his profession, so they raised bees on a moshav (collective farm). She studied literature, philosophy, and psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and taught in secondary schools as well as at Tel Aviv University. She also wrote for the literary supplement of the newspaper Haaretz, rising to become deputy literary editor.
In 1969, she published her first book, a collection of stories called Ḥasdei ha-Laylah shel Margarita (Margarita's Night Grace). It was followed by novels and novellas such as Be-Ereẓ Gezerah (The Exile, 1971), Mavet ba-Geshem (Death in the Rain, 1993), and Shorshei Avir (Roots of Light, 1987). More collections of stories included Nashim (Women, 1986) and Kol ha-Osher ha-Mufraz ha-Zeh (All This Overflowing Bliss, 2003). She has also written books for children and two novels with Esther Ettinger. She is the recpient of numerous literary awards, including the Agnon Prize and the Yad Vashem Prize for children's literature. In 1959, she married Aaron Almog, a poet, with whom she had two daughters.