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Library Journal reviews A Delightful Compendium

January 17, 2008

From Library Journal:
Willful Jewish girl Karimah HaCohen al-Tustari flees her home in Cairo, Egypt, to run off with her lover. Complicating the situation is that the year is 1031 and the love of Karimah's life is Muslim. Karimah's departure has devastated her family, and her father declares her dead. Karimah vehemently disagrees and writes to her brother that "there is a huge difference between being in love and being dead." Like generations of girls before and after her, she struggles with the restraints placed upon her by society and religion, and the novel tells of how she comes to terms with her decisions and the unconventional life that she has chosen to live. Visotzky, an educator, rabbi, and author of nine nonfiction books, devoted over two years of scholarly research to the preparation of this debut novel and it shows. Using the Cairo Geniza (an actual storage room where Jews deposited everything written in Hebrew), Visotzky poignantly re-creates a time period in which adventurers, scholars, Jews, and Muslims lived together in relative harmony. Includes in-depth notes on sources and glossary; for Jewish fiction and larger historical fiction collections.—Marika Zemke, Commerce Twp. Community Lib., MI

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A Delightful Compendium of Consolation

A Delightful Compendium of Consolation


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