A Jew­ish Child­hood in the Mus­lim Mediterranean

  • From the Publisher
December 15, 2022

A Jew­ish Child­hood in the Mus­lim Mediter­ranean brings togeth­er the fas­ci­nat­ing per­son­al sto­ries of Jew­ish writ­ers, schol­ars, and intel­lec­tu­als who came of age in lands where Islam was the dom­i­nant reli­gion and every­day life was infused with the pol­i­tics of the French impe­r­i­al project. Prompt­ed by nov­el­ist Leïla Seb­bar to reflect on their child­hoods, these writ­ers offer lit­er­ary por­traits that ges­ture to a uni­ver­sal con­di­tion while also shed­ding light on the excep­tion­al nature of cer­tain expe­ri­ences. The child­hoods cap­tured here are unde­ni­ably Jew­ish, but they are also Moroc­can, Alger­ian, Tunisian, Egypt­ian, Lebanese, and Turk­ish; each essay thus tes­ti­fies to the mul­ti­cul­tur­al, mul­ti­lin­gual, and mul­ti-faith com­mu­ni­ty into which its author was born. The present trans­la­tion makes this unique col­lec­tion avail­able to an Eng­lish-speak­ing pub­lic for the first time. The orig­i­nal ver­sion, pub­lished in French in 2012, was award­ed the Prix Haïm Zafrani, a prize giv­en by the Elie Wiesel Insti­tute of Jew­ish Stud­ies to a lit­er­ary project that val­orizes Jew­ish civ­i­liza­tion in the Mus­lim world.

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