Coming of Age in Medieval Egypt: Female Adolescence, Jewish Law, and Ordinary Culture


Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 1.3 X 9.4 inches | 1.45 pounds
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About the Author

Eve Krakowski is assistant professor of Near Eastern Studies and Judaic Studies at Princeton University.


"This breathtaking triumph of research and synthesis brings to life the young Jewish women who inhabited the medieval Islamic world. From documents preserved in the Cairo Geniza, a synagogue depository of discarded writings, Eve Krakowski follows Jewish girls on the cusp of adulthood and explores the complex ties that existed between religious traditions and social reality. An extraordinary achievement by a rising star."--Ivan G. Marcus, Yale University
"This brilliant and elegantly written book makes full use of Geniza texts in remarkably new ways. Eve Krakowski's exploration of Jewish girls' coming-of-age is told through a rich tapestry of stories in which rabbinic norms of maturation and first marriage are displayed against a background of Middle Eastern and Islamicate values."--Mark R. Cohen, author of Maimonides and the Merchants: Jewish Law and Society in the Medieval Islamic World
"Coming of Age in Medieval Egypt is a pathbreaking analysis of female adolescence and family life that offers an altogether fresh and methodologically sophisticated perspective on Jewish women's lives in medieval Fustat. This much-needed and exemplary book is remarkable in the sheer quantity and range of primary sources used and represents the best of the new generation of research on materials from the Geniza."--Arnold E. Franklin, Queens College, CUNY
"This superb book is a major contribution to a number of fields, especially Islamicate intellectual, legal, and social history, and Jewish legal and social history. It draws on an astonishingly wide array of documentary sources and is certainly the most important work of social history from the Geniza since Goitein's A Mediterranean Society. With her wonderfully nuanced arguments, Krakowski provides a masterly analysis of the subject."--Jessica Goldberg, University of California, Los Angeles
"Eve Krakowski's masterful new book . . . presents an impressive cascade of new insights regarding the Jewish community in old Cairo--their concerns, negotiations, and accommodations with the dominant Fatimid society."---Amit Gvaryahu, Marginalia
"Winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award in Women's Studies (Barbara Dobkin Award)"
"Finalist for the Dionisius A. Agius Book Prize, Society for the Medieval Mediterranean"
"One of Choice Reviews' Outstanding Academic Titles of 2018"
"Finalist for the 2017 National Jewish Book Award in Scholarship (Nahum Sarna Memorial Award)"
"Honorable Mention for the 2018 AAR Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion: Historical Studies, American Academy of Religion"