And Rachel Stole the Idols: The Emergence of Modern Hebrew Women's Writing

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

By Wendy Zierler, Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies 

Published by Wayne State University Press 

Pointing to an early instance in Hebrew literary history, And Rachel Stole the Idols takes its title from a biblical episode in which a daughter seizes control of a paternal spiritual legacy and makes it her own. 

This episode is the thematic key to Wendy I. Zierler's in-depth research of the ways modern Hebrew women writers -- after centuries of silence -- took control of the language of Hebrew literary culture, laying claim to icons of femininity and recasting them for their own purposes. Zierler picks up where other Hebrew scholars have left off, offering original analysis that brings feminist theory to bear on the study of modern Hebrew women writers. 

In recognition that there is no single feminist approach, nor a universally accepted definition of gender, this book incorporates a broad range of feminist reading strategies including Anglo-American gynocriticism, French feminist theory, and feminist critical methods in anthropology, biblical studies, and geography. The chapters examine the translated work of women who made early and significant contributions to 19th- and early 20th-century Hebrew literature, ranging from prose writers Sarah Feige Meinkin Foner, Hava Shapiro, Nechama Pukhachevsky, and Devorah Baron to poets Rachel Morpurgo, Rachel Bluwstein, Yokheved Bat-Miriam, Esther Raab, Anda Pinkerfeld-Amir, Shulamit Kalugai, and Leah Goldberg. 

Along with its provocative scholarship and large number of original translations, And Rachel Stole the Idols makes a vital contribution to Jewish women's studies and Hebrew literary studies as the first book-length English-language study of its kind. 

And Rachel Stole the Idols is available through the HUC-JIR College Bookstore, 513-221-4651; or through Wayne State University Press, 800-978-7323 or Wayne State University Press. 


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